Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Shelter aka 6 Souls (2010)

There are movies I'll watch no matter how bleah they look just because of who's in them. The opposite also is true. I'm not saying anything bad about Julianne Moore, it's just that I see her and I just think... well... bleah. And so even though the premise of this movie was almost interesting I really didn't want to give it a shot. But I have seen Jonathan Rhys Meyers in a couple of things and liked it so... It was good - almost. And the 'almost' part wasn't even her fault.

Our basic premise is a psychiatrist who debunks those claiming multiple personalities or other mental disorders in order to escape the scales of justice. In short, she calls BS on killers who 'hear voices' or think they were other people when they killed. Her latest 'interview' ended in her determining the convicted murderer to be sane and so he is executed. So far this is my kind of movie.

On her off-time she spends time with her daughter who is mostly looked after by her brother after the brutal murder of her husband. Her father, also a psychiatrist who is more open to the prospect of split personalities or 'borderline personalities' as they're now popularly referred to kind of tricks her into interviewing a new patient that he doesn't really tell her much about. And that's the problem with this movie. 

Those who should know better don't, those who don't think they do, and a whole lot of DUH gets pushed into this movie to make it into some kind of paranormal mess instead of a psychological thriller. The mess is really REALLY stupid - if they'd stuck to the 'are they nuts or faking it' type of premise it might have been interesting. But instead Julianne Moore is once again stuck in a vehicle where she's the perpetual victim always three steps behind the plot and a loser at every turn.

The patient, who refers to himself as David Bernburg, is a paraplegic. After a short interview with him while her father watches in a two-way mirror (Do people think patients are fooled by those things?) he seems to be... average. Played very well by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, he is the only halfway decent part of this movie but unfortunately you can be the best actor in the world but if the script is a total duh...

After she interviews him she argues with her father that he's nothing special after which her father 'calls' the patient on a phone set on the table (Uh, what?). David answers and her father asks for 'Adam'. David arches his head back with a sickening crunch and when he straightens his head, he answers as Adam - who is colorblind (David wasn't) AND he can walk. 

With a told-you-so attitude her father gives her all the patient's files to see if she can find out the 'secret'. DUH. But at this point the movie still wants you to ponder whether it's mental illness or not, instead of possession 'cause that would be just stupid, right? Right? Sorry, but it was at that point that I fully expected his head to spin around - or spew lots of pea soup.

But since this movie is a dragging 112 minutes long we get a lot of useless sleuthing action where Cara (Julianne Moore) tries to show she is really, really smart. YAWN. No no, she IS smart. YAWN. But they try to puzzle you by showing that others who have had contact with this guy are getting weird boils all over their back - leading up to coughing up dirt and, duh, death. GET A CLUE CARA OK? 

This goes on and on as she eventually finds that David has even more personalities than I have patience for. Why? 'Cause as Cara finds out, his different personalities are from people who are dead - some when he was a kid. And he's getting more of them. Oh, great doctoring skills guys. You're treating him and he's gone from two to six in (checks watch) ah geez this movie has over an hour to go? <sigh>

Oh and conveniently, one of them is now her late husband. Great.

Okay I'm going to give you guys the luxury I didn't have and skip ahead... the personalities are dead 'cause he killed them. Wait you say, some died when he was a kid. Nope. David himself is dead. He is being used as one of the personalities by...

Here's the paranormal garbage that mucked this story up. Conveniently she finds an old codger whose father filmed everything he saw. YAWN. Sorry. This was at the beginning of the 19th century I guess since there are both doctors and moving pictures. And religious nuts. Oh wait, they've been around a lot longer...

Soooo... in this backward community there is a Bible thumper who thinks he's a direct line to God and he (since none of these guys do anything with the Bible except shake it at people) tells them that to inoculate their children against common diseases is an affront to God and a lack of faith (wait, that sounds like a religion I've heard of.... uh, never mind). So his followers don't and the children die like... well, there's not that many of them yet so they die by the, uh, tens?

But this psycho's own children are perfectly healthy. 'Hmm', say the stupid followers, how come? Somehow they find out that when he's not hitting his Bible, their fearless leader is taking his kids to doctors and geez, they're gonna live for a long time... whoops, no they're not, 'cause the outraged people kill them. Sorry. 

As for the jerk who didn't practice what he preached - they drug him to the typical mountain healer woman (I say typical 'cause isn't there always some strange witchy woman living on a mountain who's a healer?) who sucks out his 'soul' and puts it in a jar, then stuffs his mouth with dirt so it can't go back in. Ooookay. That doesn't explain the boils on the back of the afflicted but they DO throw up dirt before dying... I guess.

Cara gets a frantic phone call - they've finally figured out that David is not David - he's actually the Bible thumper who somehow got out of his jar (Hey I get it - he's a genie!) and has been sucking the life out of people to... I dunno... why would he do that exactly? I mean yeah first he's got to get a body but after that... and isn't it awful convenient that one of the people he murdered just happened to be her husband? Out of billions of possible choices?

All I know is this movie is beginning to suck the life out of me. So let's end this, shall we? Cara's father dies, her brother dies, and she catches David/not David who is actually Adam the duh preacher sucking the life out of her daughter. So she does the only logical thing (sarcasm heavy at this point) - she kills Adam as he becomes her daughter. The end.

Whoops, not quite... all of a sudden the sucked out daughter springs back to life and a happy reunion is had by all... uh, by two. Until her daughter starts humming one of the 'soul's' music pieces that he wrote I guess showing that she is now Legion (dum dum DUM!!! Or DUMB!!!). The end.