3 user 5 critic

Shellter (2009)

Not Rated | | Horror
A young woman awakens in a fallout shelter and is coerced into horrific acts in order to stay alive.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cari Sanders ... Zoey
Will Tulin ... Doctor (as William David Tulin)
... Nurse
Kurshila Martini ... Sassy
Adam Fleck ... Fearless
... Bob
Sophie King ... Emily
... Lucy
Christine Little ... Janet
... Tina (as Elizbeth J. Carlisle)
... Joe
Leah Grimsson ... Stacy
Erin Rae ... Amy
Beth Hettig ... Betty
Kelsie Stevens ... Little Blonde Girl


A young woman, Zoey, finds herself in a hospital room in an underground fallout shelter. The doctor, who runs the shelter, explains that an infection has killed the entire population above ground. The only people left are either a few lone survivors like herself, and the infected... the living dead. The only way of curing the infection, she is told, is by surgically removing the affected area. The doctor is assisted by a nurse who has seemingly gone completely insane. Together, they "treat" a steady stream of survivors. The doctor wants Zoey to to replace the unstable nurse and become his new assistant. Zoey is very hesitant, but the doctor is willing to do whatever it takes to survive, no matter how questionable or terrible the acts. But after a patient offers to trade places with Zoey and do "anything" the doctor wants, Zoey realizes that if she doesn't do these terrible things, someone else will do these things to her. Zoey has to decide what she is willing to do to survive, and ... Written by Katie O'Connor

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


How far would you go to survive?




Not Rated


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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

Gimmie Shelter!
21 December 2010 | by See all my reviews

Imagine waking up to find yourself in an underground hospital room where you are informed that a viral infection as wiped out the entire populous above. That is the situation finding Zoey (Cari Sanders) when she regains consciousness and finds herself under the care of the shelter's doctor (Will Tulin). The doctor and a not-quite-right nurse suggest they are two of only a handful of survivors of the plague and that survival may involve the surgical removal of any infected area.

As the hours run long, Zoey begins to question the logic being presented. And when others show up in the shelter and are treated by the sadistic doctor, she begins to plan an escape – even if that means risking her life in the infected area above.

Shellter is written and directed by Dan Donley and has travelled the festival circuit winning Best Feature at the Fargo Fantastic Film Fest and the Phoenix Fear Film Fest while being nominated at countless others including the Dark Carnival and Oklahoma Film Festivals. The story in and of itself is brilliant. One can immediately relate to poor Zoey having no recollection of how she got there and imagine what you would do if put in the same dire circumstance. Donley is smart to not let the audience get ahead of the reveals to which Zoey must uncover throughout her stay. And the sheer futility of resistance leads to credible stretches such as Zoey taking over for the insane nurse that can no longer fulfill her duties.

Shellter does enough things right to grant a viewing but enough things wrong to keep it from elevating the interesting story premise above the norm. On the favorable side of the ledger, there is some descent gore to go along with the involving. The doctor does a good job of slicing and skinning new visitors to the shelter and the blood is not CGI'd in either.

But there were a few things that just didn't sit well with us. The lulls in the film were devastatingly boring. Although the film is listed at only 87 minutes, a further 5-7 minutes may have been shaved from the film to give it more punch power per round.

The reveal in the film's final chapters should be clear to anyone who watches films based in the genre. There was no 'wow' factor or anything outside of the obvious that requires in-depth analysis here.

Shellter is another title amongst a growing list of low budget independent horror/thriller films that do enough to keep our interest and are just a few cuts or a few additions from really rising above the crop of the ordinary. Shellter doesn't quite reach that plateau, but keep writer/director Dan Donley on your watch list. He seems to at least be on the right track, and given a bigger budget, there's no telling what he might accomplish.


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