"There's a storm coming like nothing you've ever seen, and not a one of you is prepared for it."
If you're a horror fan who isn't subscribing to Shudder, you'll want to remedy that immediately. The service is cheap, and the selection offers customers the chance to stream many classic horror films, as well as modern series and movies, some of which are exclusive to their library. New films join the selection each month, and though it's only been a couple of days, Shudder has already won August with additions like John Carpenter's In The Mouth of Madness and the upcoming series Channel Zero.
But I'm not here to preach about those.
Shudder dropped an unannounced masterpiece alongside the new entires, and it demands to be seen.
It's been seven years since the release of TAKE SHELTER, and it's yet to gain the widespread notoriety that it deserves. Written and directed by Jeff Nichols (Midnight Special), the film follows Curtis LaForche (Michael Shannon), an everyday family man who begins experiencing dreams and hallucinations of an apocalyptic storm. Convinced that the world is coming to an end, Curtis obsesses over improving the storm shelter, all the while hiding his fear from his wife and their young deaf daughter.
Though not a traditional horror film, TAKE SHELTER explores natural human fears such as being unable to provide for your family or being able to protect them from danger, and, to a larger extent, the fear of inheriting an inescapable mental illness and having it control every aspect of your life. Much of the film plays as an "Is he or isn't he?" in regards to Curtis' deteriorating mental health, as his own schizophrenic mother has spent many years in a home after losing her mind when he was young.
Michael Shannon's gives a god-like central performance, alternately shredding the nerves of viewers with his powerful reactions to the horror Curtis is facing (the dreams are legitimately scary at times), and breaking our hearts as he tailspins out of control. It's my personal favorite performance of the decade, and all these years later, I'm still baffled that it didn't receive more recognition.
There are moments of extreme, throat-tightening tension in TAKE SHELTER that absolutely must be experienced, and it boasts a climax that is emotionally gratifying and unforgettable. It's one of the greatest endings you'll ever see, guaranteed. I can't tell you what to do, obviously, but if you're subscribing to Shudder, you have my permission to drop your responsibilities and watch this film immediately.
And if you're not subscribing to Shudder, what the hell are you waiting for?