Shelter (2010 film)

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Shelter film.jpg
Theatrical Release Poster
Directed byMåns Mårlind
Björn Stein
Produced byEmilio Diez Barroso
Darlene Caamano Loquet
Mike Macari
Neal Edelstein
Written byMichael Cooney
StarringJulianne Moore
Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Jeffrey DeMunn
Frances Conroy
Nathan Corddry
Brooklynn Proulx
Music byJohn Frizzell
CinematographyLinus Sandgren
Edited bySteve Mirkovich
Shelter Entertainment
NALA Films
Distributed byFSF
E1 Entertainment
The Weinstein Company[1]
Release date
  • 27 March 2010 (2010-03-27) (Japan)
  • 1 March 2013 (2013-03-01) (United States)
Running time
112 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$22 million[2]
Box office$3.2 million[3]

Shelter is a 2010 American supernatural thriller horror film directed by Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein, written by Michael Cooney, and starring Julianne Moore and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.[4] The film was released as 6 Souls in the United States on 1 March 2013, for video on demand, followed by a limited theatrical release on 5 April 2013.[5]


Dr. Cara Harding (Julianne Moore), a psychologist, recently lost her husband as the two were walking home from church on Christmas Eve. In an attempt to get her more open to accepting unexplainable psychiatric theories, her father (Jeffrey DeMunn) introduces her to Adam (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), a patient suspected to have multiple personality disorder, who unnaturally takes on some impossible physical characteristics of his other personalities.

At first Cara's father only tells her of one of Adam's personalities, David Bernberg. Cara quickly discovers that David, a personality needing a wheelchair, was a real person who became a paraplegic and was murdered long ago. For more information Cara decides to visit David's mother. She tells Mrs. Bernburg of her patient Adam, and informs her that he has created a personality within himself mimicking her son. David's mother is a highly religious woman, and agrees to meet with Adam in Dr. Harding's attempt to cure him. Adam, as David, reveals to Mrs. Bernberg private details that only her son would know. She tells Adam that he is evil and leaves in distress.

Adam over time becomes more aggressive to those around him including Cara and starts to reveal more of his personalities to her; Wes, a singer in a metal band and Satanist who was suspected of committing suicide, being one of them. As Cara tries to help Adam she decides to visit his home to reveal why he may have created these personalities as a form of escapism. Upon entering his home, a filthy degenerated place full of devil-worshiping insignia, Cara discovers a grotesque decomposing body in the bathtub. After calling it into the police Cara goes to collect her daughter Sammy from school. She finds Adam there with her daughter, in the personality of a family friend and questioning Sammy about her faith in God, while the latter tells him that she does not believe anymore because her dad was murdered.

Adam is arrested by the police and questioned about the dead body in his house. Cara revisits Mrs. Bernburg and she directs Cara to a woman known as 'Granny' deep in the witch mountains for further answers. After a brief meeting with a witch doctor called Granny, the elderly woman rejects her and sends her away. Cara sneaks back when she hears screams. While spying on Granny and her companions, she witnesses Granny cutting open an old man. She delays the procedure as his screams get more intense and sucks his soul out, blowing it into a container with a strange symbol on it. She continues cutting him open, takes out a cancerous lump from his body and sews him back up before blowing the contained soul back into him. The old man awakes and appears fine. The witch doctor then turns and asks Cara if she still only believes in science. Cara begins to figure things out and realizes that Adam asks about the faith of people when he meets them. She listens to two voice messages on her phone, one from her brother who is looking after her daughter and has some information to help the investigation with Adam. Her brother informs her that there is an old man who may have answers for her relating to the case. Cara rushes to see the man, to talk about what has been happening with her patient.

The man relates a story from his childhood, while showing Cara an old silent-film home video that his father had recorded. Long ago there was a priest who came to his town to teach about God, though he himself did not believe. The priest taught that witchcraft and pagan rituals were not needed, but that it was through faith that people could be healed. The town was stricken with an influenza outbreak, but they believed in the faithless priest and depended on the beliefs that he taught them. The town discovered that the priest was actually scamming the town and a nonbeliever, inoculated his two daughters, and allowed his people to die. The townspeople murder his daughters while the witch doctor Granny sucked out his soul and blew it into the air before stuffing his orifices with mud so that his soul could not return to his body. She whispers a curse on him, that his body will be a shelter to the faithless. Cara receives a call from the police that they have released 'Adam' to her father as they discovered that the body in his bathtub was the real Adam who had owned the home. As Cara questions if the police figured out the real identity of her patient, she looks up at the projector screen to see 'Adam' in the midst of the influenza epidemic, realizing that he is the faithless priest from decades ago.

She calls her dad frantically as she realizes that 'Adam' is going to kill him. Amid the phone call she listens helplessly as the murder happens with nothing she can do to stop his death. She calls her brother to tell him what she has found out where he tells her that her daughter is getting sick, just as her family friend and father had been, and has a strange symbol burnt on her back. Cara urges her brother to take her daughter to Granny, as she believes this illness is not of temporal nature but spiritual and supernatural. 'Adam' shows up and attacks, incapacitating her brother. Cara tells her daughter to put the phone on speaker and demands that 'Adam' allow her to speak to David. As he transforms back into David he collapses on the floor, as David needs a wheelchair, giving her brother and daughter a chance to escape meeting up with Cara and Granny.

After joining the pair of them Cara checks her daughter's back only to see that the symbol appearing thereon is the same one that the container the witch doctor had used to store souls. Granny says she cannot help, as the girl has already given up on God and abandoned him, but that Sammy will be sheltered and together with the other faithless souls. 'Adam' pursues and knocks out Cara's brother, as she runs for safety with her daughter. After overpowering Cara, 'Adam' takes Sammy sucking out her soul. His personality changes into her daughter, revealing that all along 'Adam' has not had DID, but has been the shelter for multiple spirits of people who had abandoned their faith in God. 'Adam' as Sammy gives Cara the opportunity to cradle him, which in so doing gives her the chance to strangle him taking away most of his energy before impaling him through his neck on a sharp root sticking up out of the ground. As the faithless priest 'Adam' dies, all the souls leave his body. Sammy's lifeless body receives her soul back and Cara runs to reunite with her daughter. As the two comfort each other Sammy begins to hum the tune that David wrote, implying that David's soul has found its way into her daughter's body as well.



Much of the film was shot in various locations across the Pittsburgh, PA region. Locations used include: Downtown Pittsburgh and its bridges, the Fort Pitt Tunnel, East Liberty Presbyterian Church, Jones Hall at Community College of Allegheny County, Ritter's Diner near Shadyside, Spin Bartini & Ultra Lounge in Shadyside, various locations in Braddock including the Braddock Carnegie Library and home of Mayor John Fetterman, a residence in the city's Schenley Farms neighborhood, the Collier maintenance yard, and a recreated 17th century Native American village at the Meadowcroft Rockshelter.[6] Peter Martorano, the film's location manager, worked with the Pittsburgh Film Office.


The United Kingdom release was set with a cinema release on 9 April 2010.[7]


The film has been met with entirely negative reviews, garnering a 4% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Mike Sheridan from gave the film two stars out of five stating Shelter is "A thriller desperately trying to throw the audience off at every corner, just as writer Michael Cooney's previous screenplay effort Identity did to mostly stellar effect, Shelter is instead a whole lot of stupid wrapped in moody packaging."[8] Mark Harrison from Den of Geek gave a more positive review, calling it "horror by numbers, but it's at least sparing with whatever felt tip pen denotes 'jump scares'".[9] Faith-based Movieguide called the film "extremely well acted" and stated that it "provides a more intelligent tale than the genre usually offers" when comparing it with other horror videos.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Peter Dimako (5 November 2010). "Weinstein Co to release 'Shelter' starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers this year". Retrieved 12 December 2011.
  2. ^ "6 Souls". Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  3. ^ "6 Souls (2013) – Box Office Mojo".
  4. ^ "International Shelter One-Sheets". DreadCentral.
  5. ^ Julianne Moore-Starring Shelter Dusted Off for Release Under Title 6 Souls Shock Till You Drop. 8 February 2013
  6. ^ Vancheri, Barbara (13 May 2008). "Super scary 'Shelter' wrapping up here today". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  7. ^ "'Shelter' Gets UK Release: Check Out the Poster, Trailer and Stills". BloodyDisgusting.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 April 2010. Retrieved 4 April 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Shelter review".
  10. ^ "6 Souls". Movieguide. 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2018.

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