In Michael Shannon’s latest psychotic episode, Take Shelter, he is plagued by apocalyptic bedwetting nightmares as he struggles to get a grip on his Midwest, mayonnaise salad reality. Though it doesn’t help that his Mother is plum nuts – nor does the added stress of paying for his deaf Daughter’s expensive surgery or a wife, Jessica Chastain, that sows and seams on the side (and has Kenny Power’s slutty Wife for a best friend). So as any man would do, he takes out a loan against his house to build a top notch storm shelter.
But before this exploration into Shannon’s psychosis, the Producers of the film were in attendance to provide a quick intro, and afterwards, a Q&A that made me wish I’d taken shelter myself. Like proud parents, except the fact they gushed and praised themselves – One who reminded us peons that she used go to the Angelika theater as an NYU student, trying to convey what a long journey it has been, while the other dude was busy dropping names – both ass kissing the director, Jeff Nichols and drawing comparisons to Close Encounters and The Shining. But I didn’t see no fucking aliens or ghosts, just another dysfunctional family trying not to fall from the tree of life. However, Nichols does succeed in examining Shannon’s mental breakdown. Then again after past run ins with Shannon on the streets it comes as no surprise when he loses his shit and flips the fuck out at the church dinner scene – “There’s a storm-a coming!”
So when the final credits were rolling the first question raised was, “What happened at the end?” Given that it’s ending is ambiguous they gave their pat answer as its soul is about a family’s communication and the state of the gloomy world. But that doesn’t explain that insane tsunami and multiple tornadoes threatening their vacation on Myrtle Beach. Too bad Shannon’s survival kit of gas masks and canned beans didn’t include a radio for they might have been a bit more in tune with Harold Camping’s sermon. In the end, I couldn’t care less if it was a dream or reality, Myrtle Beach is a shit hole anyway…and I’d rather watch my Serious Man Blu Ray.