'Take Shelter' (Photo: Sony Pictures Classics)
Yet Curtis is plagued by nightmares of apocalyptic storms and unseen intruders that unnerves him so much, it starts to subconsciously unravel that good life. He soon begins making one bad decision after another that makes perfect sense according to the logic of his nightly visions but seem completely irrational to those around him. One of those decisions is to take out a home loan to expand his house's dank tornado shelter, though his banker tells him it is a bad idea.
Michael Shannon's performance as Curtis is as restrained as it is mesmerizing. And the scene where his simmering rage and frustration boils over during a community fish fry is as electrifying as anything I've seen this year. Jessica Chastain, who, after starring in "Tree of Life" and "The Help," is having a very good year, is equally powerful has Curtis's bewildered, heartbroken wife.
It's hard not to see this film as a deft exploration of anxieties of the downwardly mobile middle class in these ugly recessionary times. Curtis's terrifying delusions are mirrored by more prosaic fears, like keeping a job, making ends meet, and dealing with health insurers. Of course, in an age fraught with an impending economic implosion in Europe and gridlock in Washington, the idea of hiding out in an underground bunker does not seem like an entirely irrational thing to do.
'Tucker & Dale vs. Evil' (Photo: Magnet Releasing/Everett Collection)
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