cropped-the-shelter-final1For every slasher or gore-filled genre entry, I try to keep an eye on films that rely more on your psychological side. It’s a gamble, with most films falling in the category ending up being a rehash of the same ol’ mind-trip that their protagonists go through. Some films however, offer something different, something intellectual and something fresh & exciting. Lucky for us, John Fallon’s THE SHELTER is just that type of film, one that doesn’t treat its audience like idiots, and puts you through an experience that leaves you drained (in a good way).

Introducing us to Thomas (the great Michael Pare), a homeless man who has obviously been through hell and back, THE SHELTER gives us just that: a building in which Thomas seeks a place to sleep for the night. What Thomas (and us audience members) then experiences, is a night of visions, apparitions, and a nightmare that sends the man into dealing with the tragedy that led him to the desolate life he now leads.

THE SHELTER is most definitely the smart man’s horror film, putting more effort into giving its viewers a character study of a man, lost and broken and forced to face and overcome the past mistakes that caused his life to spiral out of control.

It’s great to see Pare shine again, he really gives a powerful performance, one that is broken and jaded, yet damaged and full of pain in ways that we as a viewers seek to put together. Given glimpses of what life could have been, had he taken different paths in life, Fallon’s visually stunning direction adds to the experience of Thomas being continuously haunted by life and spirits that he’s been doing his best to drink away.

It’s great to see director Fallon’s choices, visually and aesthetically. THE SHELTER could have been just another watch it and forget it psychological horror film, but it’s the combination of Pare giving a believable and memorable performance, and some impressive visual approaches that proves that THE SHELTER is a unique and unforgettable ride through nightmares and regrets.

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