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The Shelter

The Shelter

Aug. 28, 2015 USA76 Min.
Your rating: 0
9 1,568 votes

Video trailer


On a star-filled night, homeless Thomas seeks warm shelter. Still grieving his late wife, ruined and desperate, he comes across a vast house with the lights on and an inviting open front door. But the next morning, the premises will not let him leave. Destiny has brought Thomas to this place and now he must survive a very personal ordeal. For what appeared a safe haven turns out to be something far more malevolent. From Arrow in The Head blogger, writer and director John Fallon, a psychological horror show tapping into fears of the mind, body and soul.

Original titleThe Shelter
IMDb Rating4.0 217 votes
TMDb Rating5 1 votes

(8) comments

  • The_After_Movie_DinerFebruary 23, 2016Reply

    An Atmospheric, Intelligent, Thrilling and Artistic Debut

    Please join me as I wrestle with an existential crisis, religious
    symbolism, Michael Paré and a rotisserie chicken:

    The Shelter is the debut feature of writer, producer, actor and
    director John Fallon. It is a psychological and spiritual drama with a
    brooding horror underneath for good measure.

    I would say it is the kind of film that explores the kind of themes
    that would only get made independently, and I say that as a huge
    compliment. It is one of the many reasons I am glad, as a website owner
    and movie reviewer, I get to see independent films: for the ideas.

    It stars Michael Paré who has been garnering an incredible amount of
    praise for his performance, and rightfully so. It is the sort of
    soulful, captivating, varied and powerful performance that not only
    breathes every squeak of life into the script and the premise but also
    keeps an audience glued to their seat, unable to look away. Good thing
    too because Paréis on screen the whole time and, for most of it, he’s

    The story of revolves around Paré as Thomas Jacob. He’s a drinking,
    smoking and screwing, down on his luck hobo with twin bags of guilt and
    self-loathing. Showing up in an unnamed town he drifts from place to
    place as we slowly learn scraps of his tragic back story. Finally he
    winds up at an abandoned, new, white, sterile, eerie town house. Once
    he enters, he is unable to leave and suffers a long a night of soul
    challenging haunting, visions and dreams. While a little slow and
    definitely, frustratingly cryptic in places, the movie excels through
    the lead performance, the direction, the cinematography and the score.
    Its lush, crisp photography (by Bobby Holbrook), that makes strong use
    of light and iconography, and Fallon’s keen eye for an interesting
    angle or a curious piece of intriguing symbolism, lends the whole film
    a rich, disturbing atmosphere.

    The colour scheme is particularly effective and different. While some
    scenes feel realistic, others are photographed in cold blues, odd
    greens and moody oranges. Such thought and attention has been paid to
    the overall look of the film, which is wonderful because so many low
    budget productions forget to do so.

    Keen attention has also, clearly, been placed on which film stock and
    even which film speed to use, especially during the fantasy segments.
    There are some very striking and beautiful images contained within the
    film and the production should be applauded for their cinematic
    achievements. Although kept to a pleasing minimum, the use of CGI is
    highly effective also.

    The score by Shawn Knippelberg is a discordant, moody and different
    delight! It’s never intrusive and always on point, helping and,
    sometimes, creating the atmosphere of the film. It perfectly
    accompanies the drama or the delirium as a good score should do. You
    never quite know where it’s coming from, what you’re hearing or even
    what it’s being played on and this adds to your sense of unease.

    Also, the juxtaposition of the re-occurring folk song is perfectly
    jarring and a confident stroke that could so easily fail and yet here
    succeeds beautifully.

    A mention here, too, for the small supporting cast. As I said earlier,
    most of the film is a one- hander with Paré, who is excellent and not
    to be missed, but in the few key scenes where he is interacting with,
    mostly, the women in his life they are all very strong performers and
    distinguish themselves well. Over all the creative and talented
    successes in this film far outweigh its weaknesses which, for me, came
    down to the pacing in some places and the ambiguity of the final act.
    Maybe I have grown jaded on a steady diet of easily explainable and
    satisfactorily wrapped up Hollywood fare or maybe I don’t remember the
    religious texts that were drilled into me back in school but I did feel
    that some of the film’s intention and meaning was lost on me.

    Maybe that was the point. The film is definitely open to
    interpretation. That is, also, let’s be fair, utterly refreshing when
    compared to other, tried-and-tested, cookie cutter movies. When was the
    last time you were left asking questions or thinking about what it all

    In my mind the film is dealing with themes and mostly ideas, emotions
    and experiences that people keep inside, hidden, gnawing away at them,
    picking at the thread of their subconscious. It tries its best to
    visualise and manifest feelings of self pity, self doubt, loss, guilt,
    anger, regret and everything else our, de facto, hero is carrying
    around with him. Its with this task that I think the film definitely
    succeeds. It’s the religious underpinnings and possible message that
    maybe was lost to me but this also means the film will hold up, for me,
    to repeat viewings and finding new things each time. In the end though,
    having a satisfactory conclusion or all of your questions answered is
    not what it’s about. It’s clearly a very personal, intelligent work of
    art by an emerging, talented filmmaker and an aging character actor
    showing he has depth and range with challenging material.

    Everyone will take something different from and everyone will find
    something they think is enjoyable, intriguing, beautiful and/or
    sinister. Whatever aspect of the piece grabs you then I guarantee it’ll
    be with you a while. I know, for me, the photography, the atmosphere
    and some of the images will take a long while to shake off.

  • Jack HunterNovember 8, 2016Reply

    What A Bunch Of Crap!

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • dcarsonhagyNovember 12, 2016Reply

    A True Vision of a Man’s Personal Hell

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • GlindaNovember 23, 2016Reply

    I loved this movie

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Jeremy Jones ([email protected])November 25, 2016Reply

    Subtle and Meditative

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Waldo McfeniansNovember 26, 2016Reply

    Get ready to explore Death and its consequence on a lonely man

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • TrippingABlindManJanuary 14, 2017Reply

    Clumsy, but atmospheric slow burn with a great lead performance

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Richard DominguezFebruary 13, 2017Reply

    Unusual And Intriguing

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

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