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Based on a previous review here suggesting that fans of The Ring would
like this I went to see Shelter and I think the previous advice needs
more clarification. If you liked The Ring then yes, you'll probably
like this. If however you thought The Ring had pointless cut aways and
sudden close-ups just to try to build tension or make you jump, then
you will be as equally frustrated with this film. Still in the latter
group, I would assume that you loved Ringu and therefore you will
appreciate the story this film is trying to tell despite the occasional
ham-fisted way it goes about presenting it.
Jonathan (male lead) is really quite good, although Julianne comes across far too much as if she has been cast as Dana Scully. In truth this whole film would have been more believable if this had of been the story line for the X Files 2 movie. Knowing that going in will probably help get past the weird opening 30 minutes where it swings from place to place until we settle on the story it is wanting to tell. Despite the plot holes and some questionable decisions by the characters, I did leave the film feeling pleased and positive about the whole experience.
It's really rare for an American film to open in Japan before America,
so I rushed to see it. Well, I might not have rushed had it not been
for Juliana Moore who does deliver despite huge gaping plot holes
littered throughout the film.
I won't give anything away about the story. There is a lot of development in the first half of the movie which might make the film seem s l o w for some viewers. When the mystery is revealed it is surprising but even given the careful buildup you might still have to make an effort to suspend your disbelief if only because of the plot holes (which I can not mention with out enumerating spoilers).
There are quite a few logical disconnects, too. In a age of cell phones when you're a busy psychiatrist why would you drive across town to do something which would take ten seconds by phone? Because it's a plot device.
Still, I enjoyed the film. I can not recommend it to my Japanese friends as there is a lot of talk about God and Faith which is lost on a truly secular country; but I can recommend it to people who like films like The Ring or The Exorcist. There are some interesting characters and a lot of good acting especially by the male lead who, well, you'll see.
Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein's 'Shelter' is very much just another one of those horror movies that classifies itself as a 'supernatural thriller' in order to appear more classy and cool. The direction seems confused and even if the film is well shot, it's nothing outstanding. Clichés and plot holes are abundant in 'Shelter' (which is very much the case with most movies of this genre) and it has a disappointingly typical ending that tries to be haunting. It tries to be tricky by initially giving the impression of being a psychological thriller and then the writer throws in the occult to tell you that it's actually a horror film. Would fans of 'The Ring' like it (as the promos suggest)? Probably. Julianne Moore does a great job. I only watched 'Shelter' because she was in it. Her castmates are okay at best with the exception of Frances Conroy who stands out as a mother who lost three sons. Overall, 'Shelter' is a disappointing film that has absolutely nothing new to offer.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If only the makers of Shelter knew of the irony behind their movie. A
film titled 'Shelter' shelters its secrets so badly that there is
nothing surprising in its thrills or mysteries. It's one of those
movies where you have guessed the ending when there's still half an
hour left to watch. Which in the case of Shelter would be before it
It begins with an interesting premise. Dr Cara Harding (Julianne Moore) is not a believer in multiple personalities disorder, which she considers to be a sham which murderers seek to be acquitted of the consequences of their actions.
But when her father (Jeffrey DeMunn) introduces her to a patient (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) whose multiple personalities belong to murdered people, she is both baffled and resistant. She starts a quest to discover how the patient is connected to all the murders to see how he has absorbed their personalities. Of course, no one seems to pay too much attention to the fact that when the patient changes personalities, his neck almost snaps, but psychiatrists are busy people..
Unfortunately, from here the movie gets silly. Cults, religion, faith and not having faith, mysterious deaths and whatnot take the stage as all kinds of creepy images flash on the screen relentlessly to give story the extra mile. While some images are scary and well shot, it doesn't make up to the fact that the story has absolutely nothing to say about anything. In fact, I consider it a prime mistake to delve into religious dogma without coming up anything to say about it, since it is perhaps the easiest target to make a point about. Sloppy.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
SHELTER CATCH IT ( B- ) Shelter starts like a Psychological thriller and ends up as a Supernatural Voodoo movie. Nonetheless, it wasn't bad at all. From the 1st sequences to Jonathan Rys Meyers Incredible entrance the movie was right on psychological track though in between we were getting hints of some Supernatural hints, then in 2nd half it was clear that it's a Supernatural movie. The best thing about the movie is that it doesn't gets you bore and has its scary and chilling moments. Julianne Moore is a fantastic actress everyone knows that she did her part really well as always. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is incredible this time since his role has most of the variety, he done his part really well. Brooklynn Proulx is really cute and adorable kid. Overall it's a good attempt though story could have been more innovative rather then predictable.
Actress Julianne Moore to me seemed an actress who chooses her projects carefully. This movie proves that it is just random. For the love of god I can't think of a reason for an actor or actress to do this kind of role other than money. There is no challenge at all. The story had a strong start but then took a deep dive. I understand that it is hard to come up with new angles on certain psychological issues but why use them in the first place. The writers and the director didn't know to solve their problem either and took the easy way out. While in the first half there is room for more interpretations in the second half there is only one interpretation left which asks too much of the viewer especially with the whole hillbilly nonsense. Jonathan Rhys Myers was adequate enough although there wasn't a moment he was menacing enough to be taken seriously. People kept dying in the movie and only in one scene did it seem to affect me since the drama was laid on so thick there was no escaping it. The slow pace and the loud sound effects ruined the creepy ambiance that was created. Loud sound effects usually are effective if it is followed by a strong scene in which something bad happens. In this movie we only have the loud sound effect,which is a very cheap trick to attract attention especially when nothing is happening on the screen to justify these sounds. I wished I could be more positive about the movie. But sadly the whole movie felt like a complete waste of time. Don't bother watching this movie!
Shelter has dealt with an unfair start into cinemas, it was ready for
release way back in 2010 and now it's finally being released On Demand
and in limited theaters under its new title 6 Souls. The movie starts
with the introduction of Cara Harding, a female forensic psychiatrist
played by Julianne Moore, who just finished wrapping up her current
case, when her father Dr. Harding approaches her with a new case. Cara
is hesitant at first but soon agrees to take the job and soon discovers
that not only does her new patient has multiple personalities but all
of them are murder victims, we are then taken on a tailspin with her to
figure out why this is happening.
The movie has its moments of grotesque eeriness that gets under your skin but just not a lot of scares or action. The story just gets lost in its own complexity of twists with not much payoffs. For a movie that is almost 2 hours long it just didn't accomplish that much or had any moments that stood out to me. The film does have a lot of spooky imagery with creepy locations, but just didn't take full advantage of them. The film starts off well as a psychological thriller and character study, and then when the horror elements seep in, the film's effectiveness fades away and becomes illogical.
The intense and focused performances are where this film shines. Julianne Moore can do any role justice and in this problematic film she proves it with her raw emotions and mesmerizing red head beauty. Julianne plays Cara Harding, a forensic psychiatrist who picks up the most challenging cases of her career when she meets her new patient who has a multiple personality disorder. Jonathan Rhys Meyers gives a captivating performance as David/Adam/Wesley and is probably the very best I've seen from him so far. Jonathan's performance could have been an over the top mess if approached the wrong way, but he made it organic and gripping to watch. The supporting actors were not half bad either and also made it watch able.
Directors, Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein prove that maybe two heads aren't that better than one to tackle a flawed story. They do create a certain atmosphere that evokes fear and some stomach turning images but didn't really know how to end the story effectively or answer all of our questions. Writer, Michael Cooney seems to have made the same mistakes here that he did with his other screenplay Identity, which also had a great start but ruined it for me with it's lousy last half that was also illogical, his stories are just uneven to me, but I do like his effort for trying to bring something different to this mostly unoriginal genre.
Overall, I can see why they waited so long to release the film, but it deserves a much better treatment than the crap like Texas Chainsaw 3D, which made its way to movie theaters way to easily than this. The film lacks scares, thrills and the story leads to no payoff, but the performances are solid, the atmosphere, imagery are spooky and the concept is a nice change of pace. The movie as a whole could have been so much better and executed with a more terrifying impact, but it's a whole lot more decent than what it got treated as, so it's granted at least one viewing if you want something different from the norm. Just don't expect too much from this one.
Adding together the presence of Michael Cooney as the writer who gave us 'Identity', which boasted originality and a fast paced story AND with the addition of Julianne Moore who eats this genre for breakfast, my expectations for this were high. The movie starts off well, 'on the edge'; with Jonathan Rhys Meyer's character being introduced perfectly. Plenty of reason to call it a horror/thriller at this point with excellent use of sound to create the jumpy vibe. However the direction from the Swedish duo Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein soon starts to really let the grip of the film slip. OK admittedly there are plot holes and the pace is slow after the initial quick start which covers a lot of explanatory material for the theory behind the story. But to have taken the obviousness out of that, the direction could have been so much more original and less armature looking, with close ups and set ups for jumps so obvious and dull. The first 30 minutes or so of the film has the horror edge, after that a Sunday paced drama with a frankly ridiculous set of ideas behind Meyers character which are not overly original sets this up to mainly let moviegoers expectations down. Meyer's brilliant acting including his shift in accents and characters and Moore's usual type cast brilliant acting make this watchable and average. This could have been so good and does not fit into the horror/thriller genre well and do it justice. An average supernatural thriller with a couple of jumps at best as horror. What a shame.
I'm giving this 1, simply because the first half built the expectation
that this movie may be halfway decent.
Julianne Moore's performance is great as usual, the cinematography and score are above average for Hollywood and Jonathan Rhys-Myers gets to overact in a variety of different characters... sounds OK right?
Wrong! The second half of the movie descends into an oozing morass of nonsense and bible-bashing claptrap. I'm not even objecting to the overly religious theme per se, it's that even this is completely incomprehensible in this movie. I could drive a bus through the holes in the plot.
What's worse, the ending leaves way for a sequel... please NO!
At the end, my partner and I both started shouting expletives at the screen.
With Shelter we wasted four hours total of our lives and I am writing this so that you don't have to.
I had never heard of this film until I found it a few days ago. I had
enjoyed Identity a lot and was expecting more of a psychological
thriller - the first half of the film was exactly that and then turned
into a pretty good supernatural horror.
Julianne Moore is as gorgeous as ever and plays the part very well - a bit like Tally in The Forgotten. Jonathan Rhys Meyers was excellent - the only film I've seen before with him in it was Alexander and can't remember him in it but this role was a revelation - he actually reminded me of a young Daniel Day Lewis. The always underrated Jeffrey DeMunn was good too.
This film is no Omen or The Shining so 8/10 is a pretty fair rating in my opinion.
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