Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
Måns Mårlind, Björn Stein
Jonathan Rhys Meyers
What's it about
A female forensic psychiatrist discovers that all of one of her patient's multiple personalities are murder victims. She will have to find out what's happening before her time is finished.
Is it good movie?
Julianne Moore has to dive into her role as Dr. Cara Jessup (who comes up with these names), as she meets Adam (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) who seemingly has multiple personalities. She doesn't really believe in the disorder, her husband was murdered and she's quite religious. It doesn't take long for this patient to manifest his other personality named David, who has a bit of a troubled past.
This is a movie that is a bit of a mess, but if you're forgiving enough it's certainly watchable. The film presents a pretty good tone and a generally unsettling vibe. It's one of those films where you're supposed to be piecing the puzzle together as it goes along and unfortunately I had a good portion of things figured out. Not to jump right to the end, but the film has an absolutely ludicrous ending that comes off as almost completely laughable.
The other thing here is that Julianne Moore's character is so dependent on being a skeptic that she makes some really stupid decisions- she goes way out of her way to try to prove against this fact and almost dies a few times because of it. Another somewhat annoying point here is that Meyers is a bit hammy when he tries on his personalities, slapping on really goofy accents and showing backstories for the individuals that can be a bit jarring. He's not a scenery chewer, but he's almost there.
Shelter really veers around all over the place at times too, postulating theories of bad hollywood films, demonic possession, weird hillbillies, a plague epidemic and even faith healers. I suppose ultimately this film sort of feels like a J-Horror one, with a mysterious something or other taking people out until the whole thing unravels. The story certainly shows promise and has a great cast, but Meyers doesn't quite have the chops to pull this off, especially next to the wonderful Julianne Moore.
Video / Audio
First up is a 4 minute interview with Julianne Moore, you also get one with Meyers and the directors Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein. The actor interviews are okay but too brief to really provide any decent insight. The director interview is pretty good but sort of jumps all over the place, running just about 10 minutes long.
If you've got less discriminating taste, you could find some enjoyment in Shelter. It has a decent enough story and some marquee actors to carry you through. The film tries to be pretty creepy and has a few successful moments. If you're a bit more nitpicky like I am you might get hung up on some of the film's flaws, like the ridiculous ending.