Take Shelter is an interesting and entertaining movie, but I don’t really understand it.  It’s an arthouse movie that’s won many awards and I wonder if the awards are the result of the critics judging it to have some kind of higher meaning or if they also didn’t quite get it and just gave it a bunch of awards.  It stars Michael Shannon and Shea Whigham of Boardwalk Empire fame and Jessica Chastain as the confused wife.

The basic plot is this: Shannon’s character, Curtis, begins to hallucinate and have nightmares.  His family has a history of schizophrenia, so what follows appears to be his slow descent into mental illness.  He’s raising a deaf daughter with his wife and trying to raise money so she might have an operation to hear.  But when Curtis starts to come unraveled, he becomes obsessed with rebuilding his storm shelter and spends way too much money on it.  He also borrows company equipment, endangering his job.

The first half of the movie builds like a horror movie, because it is horrible to watch Curtis lose his mind.  His nightmares are pretty bad.  But then, the movie concentrates on the mental illness angle.  A different movie, but it seems to work.  Finally, in the last five minutes, the filmmakers tack on an ending that I can’t explain at all.  It’s a bit reality bending, ala Inception, but it seems to come out of nowhere.  If anyone can explain it to me, I’d like to know.  The effects were pretty cool.

Anyhow, is it worth seeing?  Well, up until that last five minutes, I might’ve said yes if you like slow paced arthouse movies.  Ultimately, Take Shelter is a interesting car ride that seems to lead nowhere.  If you’re a film buff, I’d say rent it.  I give Take Shelter 4 out of 10 keggers.