In a quiet town in Ohio, all seems well. That is until Curtis LaForche (Michael Shannon), a loving husband to Samantha (Jessica Chastain) and proud father of their young daughter, becomes plagued by terrifying visions and nightmares.
These vivid apparitions convince Curtis that there’s a deadly storm coming, and it’s pushing him to to breaking point. Unsure of his sanity, he sets about transforming the forgotten tornedo shelter in the yard to a fully functioning bunker, complete with water and sewage systems. All the while, alienating himself from the local community and stretching the limits of his marriage.
Take Shelter has a slow pace and with a 120 minute runtime feels a little on the long side, but this isn’t an end-of-world action movie a la Bruce Willis. It’s a subtle indie drama that is beautiful to look at, with CGI not dissimilar to the recent Melancholia.
Michael Shannon is unmissable as the quiet Curtis, teetering dangerously on the edge of control. While Jessica Chastain, who’s had an incredible year with starring turns in The Tree of Life and The Help amongst other, is mouth-wateringly good as the loyal but bemused wife.
The joy of Take Shelter isn’t a big bang of excitement, but it’s drawn out and delicate tone. It is a haunting film that will certainly stay with you long after you’ve left the cinema.