Let me say this, Shellter is awesome, and I’m quite sad to say that I had never heard of this film prior to my viewing, as this blew me away. I was not expecting what I witnessed and I mean that in a good way. With all the constant remakes and films being shot in 3D, this come at the perfect time to show what horror is meant to be, it’s gritty, brutal horrendous, you want to turn it off but you just can’t and that’s the beauty of a great horror film.
The writer/director Dan Donley has done a wonderful job with his latest film, which focuses on a small group of people which are locked in a fallout shelter. To be honest with some independent offerings, the acting isn’t often great, but here the performances are strong and consistent, especially The Doctor (William David Tulin) who does an awesome job of being able to pull off acting so innocent but at the same time so brutal and it is a joy to watch.
Equally as good as William, is the character Zoey (Cari Sanders) who must have had quite an exhausting job as she is put through some horrendous things and manages to pull it off flawlessly, a joy to watch. Now early on I had an inkling of what is really going on, but you are often pulled away from such suggestions so I was constantly guessing what is happening.
Zoey wakes up in this fallout shelter and the Doctor explains the world is not the world she once knew, the world has been ravaged by some sort of outbreak and the doctor, explains of a post-apocalyptic world and this the safest place for the survivors. The film involves pretty much a single set throughout the whole film and you definitely get the sense of claustrophobia sinking in, but it works.
Soon we see the Doctors work and his twisted world he has created for himself and the survivors in the shelter. These two aren’t the only ones in this shelter; early on we are presented with The Nurse (Ria Olsen) who first appears pleasant and helpful who helps the Doctor during these difficult times of an apocalyptic world.
As the story progresses more survivors find their way to the fallout shelter and are subjected to different types of treatment. The story slowly reveals itself as more survivors make their way into the shelter and during this time some scenes of torture can be quite hard to watch if you’re not accustomed with some explicit scenes of gore, but if you’re a gore hound then I’m sure you will be very happy.
I was actually impressed with the gore, it was well done and believable, an awesome job by the f/x team and all prosthetic not one drab of CGI so it kept me happy. Dan Donley puts his actresses through some pretty hard scenes and they all pull it off with conviction, sometimes you question as to why, Zoey when having the chance, didn’t she fully attack the Doc tor or escape. But possibly in this state and being told of this apocalyptic world, maybe she becomes more deluded and sub-consciously feels safe in the shelter in a bizarre way.
I don’t want to spoil this for you, as you need to watch this without really knowing anything going in, as that what makes this movie unique and beautiful. Sometimes you may ask yourself, what would you do if you were presented with this type of scenario? Would you do some of the things presented here? Possibly, but under these circumstances and with the possibility of cabin fever setting in, it’s hard to imagine what anyone would do.
Shellter isn’t perfect but it does what it set out to do and that is be a horror film, sure some of the dialogue could have been improved and may not be some of the best fight scenes you have seen but it’s enjoyable and I came for the gore and stayed for the twists and turns which unfold throughout.
Either way Shellter is an extraordinarily brutal film that doesn’t let up, if you are not accustomed to scenes of explicit gore or subject matter, you may find yourself reaching for the off button or washing yourself afterwards, as you have the sense that you witnessed something that you really shouldn’t have.
I personally thought this was a great welcome and a breath of fresh air, to a genre which is unfortunately inundated with remakes and unoriginality, so it’s great to see a little gem like this surface and kick the ass of bigger budget films that try to shock you but fail in comparison. This is a must see, and one of the best films I have seen in 2010, I recommend you hunt this one down and give it a shot, very well done and beautifully horrific.