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Plagued by a series of apocalyptic visions, a young husband and father questions whether to shelter his family from a coming storm, or from himself.



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41 wins & 35 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Natasha Randall ...
Ron Kennard ...
Scott Knisley ...
Special Ed Teacher
Sheila Hullihen ...
Woman in Road
John Kloock ...
Man in Road
Marianna Alacchi ...
Bargain Hunter
Jacque Jovic ...
News Anchor
Bob Maines ...
Walter Jacobs


Curtis, a father and husband, is starting to experience bad dreams and hallucinations. Assuming mental illness, he seeks medical help and counseling. However, fearing the worst, he starts building an elaborate and expensive storm shelter in their backyard. This storm shelter threatens to tear apart his family, threatens his sanity and his standing in the community, but he builds it to save his family's life. Written by napierslogs

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Far away from the cruel world. [Scandinavian DVD.]


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

10 November 2011 (Croatia)  »

Also Known As:

Atormentado  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$52,041 (USA) (30 September 2011)


$1,729,969 (USA) (16 March 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Michael Shannon purposely didn't read up on mental illnesses before taking on the role as Curtis, as this is something the character himself knew little about. See more »


(at around 1 min) When Curtis is having a seizure on one scene the pillow is next to him with a big blood stain close to the clock. In the next scene when he sits up, the pillow is behind him towards the middle. This happens twice during that sequence. See more »


[first lines]
Curtis: [to daughter] No, no, no. Don't feed the dog, darling.
See more »


Featured in The Big Picture: November 2011 (2011) See more »


Written & Performed by Ben Nichols
Copyright 2010 Empty Roard Music (ASCAP)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Intelligent, nicely shot film with great lead from Shannon
11 August 2011 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Take Shelter is an intelligent, thought provoking, nicely shot film featuring an excellent performance by Michael Shannon (an Oscar nomination, surely?), who was also great in director Nichols' previous/first film, Shotgun Stories. The film explores the line between fear and paranoia, or objectivity and subjectivity, as it's protagonist - a blue-collar family man of few words - wrestles with apocalyptic dreams and visions of a strange, possibly supernatural storm, responding to them as best he can as both literal warnings AND possible signs of mental illness. The film has a brooding, at times Hitchcockian atmosphere and a very timely feel to it (think financial and environmental disasters). Set in a rural community, we have plenty of lovely wide shots of the land- and sky-scape (also a strong element of Shotgun Stories) with some added CGI on the latter for the dream/visions. Shannon's performance constitutes at least 50% of this films worth but the rest of the cast are good too. It's a slow mover and, at around two hours and fifteen minutes, perhaps a bit too long. My wife and I did have a few criticisms after watching it (at the Sydney Film Festival), but I wouldn't want to discourage anyone from seeing this film, which will no doubt be a hot topic and bring Nichols deserved recognition when it goes on general release (September 30 2011 in US)

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The ending explained (There is only one concrete interpretation) griffon652
Is the USA really so far behind? technical2654
Are you kidding me??? Put me and my wife to sleep.... dan-a-bolivar
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Ending... Explained ryansythe
There's no metaphoric ending, here's why. isaaasimov
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