Shelter opens with rather an interesting supposition; multiple personality disorder has been revealed to be a fallacy, and can no longer be held up as an excuse for criminal behaviour. Unfortunately, the film goes downhill from here, and what is left is a dull narrative littered with stock horror clichés and not much else.
The film initially sets up a science versus superstition premise, teetering between a logical explanation and a supernatural one. Rather than playing on what Todorov deems ‘the fantastic’, Shelter resolutely plumps for one outcome, making for a less interesting film.
Julianne Moore is engaging as ever; it is just a pity she has such weak material to work with. Jonathan Rhys Meyers, however, is less persuasive in convincingly portraying the multiple personalities that inhabit his form.
In punishing those without faith, directors Mårlind and Stein appear to be reinforcing the importance of religious beliefs. Nonetheless, despite her faith, Moore’s Cara is left with very little to show by the end of proceedings. Thus the message appears to be the faithless die whilst the believers are left with very hollow lives.
The very end of the film is as predictable as they come in the horror genre. But given the quality of the film up until this point, it is hardly surprising. Give it a miss.