Due to this movie not being shown in my preferred cinema, a change of location was needed. I always hate going to the “other” place. It’s such a different experience; the seats are uncomfortable, there is no leg room and there’s just an overall sense of “yeaaahhh let’s not ever come here again”. Fortunately, the movie made up for it, and is a highly enjoyable, yet massively flawed, piece of escapist entertainment.
Julianne Moore stars as Cara Harding, a psychiatrist who doesn’t believe that multiple personality disorder exists. If anything, her scepticism would prevent me from ever hiring her if I had problems; I always thought their profession required an open mind. Anyway, her father (who is also a psychiatrist) approaches her with the unusual case of David (Jonathan Rhys Myers), who appears to be a schitzophrenic and on command summons the persona of someone else called Adam Saber. Quickly dismissing it as a hoax and fake, Cara sets about proving her father wrong. But when the textbooks stop coming up with answers, Cara must dig deeper and uncover the true horrors that Adam/David have hidden within.
Shelter was one of those rare films that I had no idea what to expect going in. It has had little to no advertising and, as I mentioned earlier, it wasn’t showing at my cinema of choice, which is never a good sign. The last time I had to go there for a specific showing was Dance Flick: the less said about that, the better. Although it plays like a run of the mill psychological thriller, there are elements that make it seem a little better than the others. Whenever I thought I knew what was going on, a few minutes later I would be totally lost and confused again, making me wonder whether the writer was trying to fit as many plot twists as possible into the 112 minute run time. Even the closing minutes make you question what just happened, and clearly setting up an opportunity for a sequel. Just not in the same genre; a family comedy rather than thriller. Seriously.
Speaking of the script, sometimes it strays into the totally unbelievable, which would naturally bring me from the suspended disbelief, but every time it threatened to do so, it was brought back down to [almost] reality. Moore and Myers did the best they could with the material; especially the male lead. I never thought I’d be scared by the lovable Irish football coach from Bend It Like Beckham. It’s odd though; he doesn’t look any different than any other role he’s played. Yet why is he so disturbing here? He handles the array of accents well, which I found surprising seeing as though he murdered the generic American accent in From Paris With Love. He has to deal with quite a few in Shelter, and pulls it off well.
As for plot holes, well, if Shelter was an item of food it would be swiss cheese. But the intriguing story kept me engaged and although I knew they were there, I overlooked them like seeing a dog owner picking up their pets droppings. I can’t really say much more about it, as there really are too many plot points to go over, and if I did that I may unintentionally include spoilers.
I don’t expect this movie to be in theatres long, but if you have an opportunity to see it, it’s certainly above a lot of the trash showing now. Not mentioning any, but Butler and Aniston know exactly what i’m talking about.