But the show went on, Shawn was recruited to provide the score, and the flick completed. I've seen The Shelter a couple of times, but never provided an official review here in The Basement. Although not technically in the review business anymore, I figured I'd celebrate The Shelter's debut at London's Frightfest by (finally) putting a few words down.
Last year, on my Facebook profile, I called The Shelter a winner. Not a straight-up horror flick, but not a straight-up art film. "It's something in-between, and hauntingly beautiful." And I stick by that praise to this day. Once you've seen it, The Shelter is a hard film to forget. It's deep in emotion and angst and human suffering, but also carries with it a sense of hope, albeit a razor thin one.
The flick's success rests on the shoulder of two men - star Michael Pare and writer/director John Fallon. This is Pare's one-man show, and he just kills it. I can't remember the last time he's been this good. The guy digs deep into his soul to pull out a performance that lays bare every human emotion. I'm not quite sure where he went and what he did to be so raw, but my hats off to you sir.
As for Fallon, the brother knows how to make a fuckin' movie. John's been in the film industry for more than a decade, and he's clearly absorbed the filmmaking process like a sponge. This is an accomplished piece of writing and directing, delivered with the skill of a professional. Although John's debut feature, it feels like he's been doing this forever. The Shelter is a low-budget flick that looks like it was made with a lot more dough behind it. Great work, amigo!
The Shelter isn't a feel good movie. But it's got a lot to say about the human condition and our place in the world. It's dark with a little light shining through the cracks. I hope it's just the first great film we see from a man with a (knock on wood) long career in the director's chair ahead of him.
PS: Shawn's score is pretty fucking good too ;)