Shelter Movie Review

With slick and snaky production values, directors Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein create a gleefully bonkers thriller. As a result, there are moments of real terror even as the story gets increasingly ridiculous.

Pittsburgh psychiatrist Caroline (Moore) doesn't believe multiple-personality disorder actually exists, even as her psychiatrist father (DeMunn) continually challenges her. His latest test is David (Rhys Meyers), whose alter-egos manifest with an unexplained physicality. As she looks into the case, Caroline's scepticism is shaken by hints that something demonic might be going on here, especially when an agitated woman (Conroy) tells her a scary story about "Satan-worshipping mountain witches". Soon Caroline's brother (Corddry) and daughter (Proulx) are caught up in the mystery as well.

Actually, half of the fun here is watching Moore give yet another subtle, involving performance in another goofy, overwrought story (see also The Forgotten). While it starts out as a psychological thriller, things quickly get supernatural, and yet she maintains her composure, quietly revealing little details of her character and her connections with those around her. And even more effectively, her fear is palpable: there are some pretty terrifying sequences in this film, made believable only because of Moore's raw authenticity.

Contrast this, though, with Rhys Meyers' eye-rolling, head-bobbing performance as the thoroughly crazed David (or Adam or whoever he is in the next scene).

He's never believable for a moment, and comes dangerously close to unravelling the whole movie. Much better is Conroy's haunted mother, Corddry's underplayed nice guy and DeMunn's gleefully mischievous shrink. They add terrific offhanded realism to their scenes, underscoring the freak-out craziness with honest interaction.

From the meandering opening shot, the directors ramp up the film's horror tone, with Kubrickian intensity that includes extremely long takes, carefully controlled camerawork and straight-on nightmares. These clever touches make the movie visually intriguing from start to finish, and give a nice spin to the constant debates between curiosity and certainty as well as science and religion. As "the devil's magic" increasingly rears its evil head, the story takes several inane twists, piling on so much backwoods mythology that our eerie jitters are replaced with giggles. But that's not always a bad thing.

Cast & Crew

Director : Marlind and Stein

Producer : Darlene Caamano, Emilio Diez Barroso, , Mike Macari


Shelter Rating

" OK "

Rating: 15, 2010


More Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore Explains How Being In 'The Hunger Games' Is "Meaningful" For Her Kids

Julianne Moore signing up to star in "The Hunger Games" franchise may have been surprising to many of her fans as she usually doesn't play...

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 Trailer

With the incredible ramifications of the end of the yearly ritualistic sacrificial televised Hunger Games, the world is thrown into disarray when the supposed saviour...

A Week In Movies: Stars Turn Out In New York, Cruise Shoots In London And Trailers For Interstellar, Inherent Vice, Taken 3 And Blackhat

A week before it arrived in cinemas, the anxiously awaited thriller Gone Girl had its world premiere at the New York Film Festival, where Ben...

'Maps To The Stars' May Finally Earn Moore An Oscar

Julianne Moore is one of the greatest actresses never to have won an Oscar, even though she's been nominated four times and has a mantle...


Maps to the Stars Movie Review

As it explores Hollywood's inbred underbelly, this film becomes increasingly deranged and also rather dark and creepy, but it's so fiercely entertaining that it's impossible...

'Maps to the Stars': The Movie That Took 20 Years To Write [Trailer + Pictures]

Ok, so David Cronenberg's latest movie Maps to the Stars - which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May - will more than likely...

Maps To The Stars Trailer

Havana Segrand (Julianne Moore) is an actress struggling with her insecurities and desperate to reprise her late mother Clarice's star role in the remake of...

A Week In Movies: Get On Up Premieres, Cooper Cooks In London, Trailers For Tusk, Mockingjay, The Hobbit And Mad Max

The stars came out for the New York premiere this week of Get on Up, starring Chadwick Boseman as Godfather of Soul James Brown. He...