Shelter Movie Explained: What’s the Story Behind?

What happened to the girl at the end of the analysis of the thriller film Shelter (2010): plot summary, ending explanation, meaning of the film, similar movies.

Country: USA

Genre: horror, thriller

Year of production: 2010

Director: Måns Morlind, Björn Stein

Actors: Julianne Moore, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jeffrey DeMunn

Slogan: “Hide and seek begins. He’s already looking for you.”

The picture by Måns Morlind and Björn Stein, skillfully waltzing between detective and thriller, gradually immerses the viewer in a terrible story with a mystical touch. The plot and ending of the film Shelter (6 Souls) are quite ambiguous and even controversial. Nevertheless, this is an interesting film that leaves a strange, viscous aftertaste.

What is the movie about

Brief description of the contents of the picture. The plot of the film Shelter centers on Kara Harding, a forensic psychiatrist. A woman is raising a teenage daughter, but her hard work and habit of drinking in the evenings prevent her from being a truly good mother.

Julianne MooreJulianne Moore played the role of Kara Harding. Still from the film.

One day, Kara’s father and part-time colleague asks her to help him with one of his patients, the case of which he positions as “completely unusual.” On the same day, Kara meets David. A handsome young man uses a wheelchair, which he got into after an accident several years ago.

Having tested the guy, the psychiatrist does not notice any strangeness in his behavior and reports this to his father. Smiling mysteriously, he calls David before her eyes and asks him to call some Adam to the phone. After a few seconds, the man, whom Kara is watching from the side, changes so rapidly that she is seriously frightened – and realizes that there is still a point in working with David further.

She goes to the patient again and really sees that in front of her is a completely different person – impudent, impulsive and arrogant. His test results are very different from David’s. But what frightens the woman most is that the weak guy with a disability, with whom she was talking before “Adam” appeared, suddenly gets up from his chair…

Curious about the strange patient, Kara looks through his file. And the more she studies his case, the more she becomes convinced that she is faced with something inexplicable. But the rational doctor is not going to give up right away and begins an investigation in search of a solution.

Trying to find out who David is, Kara eventually realizes that this is not her patient, because he died many years ago. Completely confused, she eventually comes to the mother of the real David. A deeply religious woman tells the doctor an absolutely fantastic story about how her son was sacrificed by sectarians many years ago in a nearby forest. And all because he, from a good Catholic, became an adept of science and medicine.

Jonathan Rhys MeyersJonathan Rhys Meyers as Adamai A still from the film.

Having met her father again, she suggests that the guy’s real identity is Adam, and expresses confidence that she can help him. She invites David’s mother to one of her meetings with the patient. And again, a frightening transformation takes place before her eyes. David, who has appeared, happily communicates with his mother, and the elderly woman confirms: this is indeed her son.

A little later, Kara comes up with the idea of ​​taking “David” to the place of his death. He almost immediately begins to panic and tells the puzzled Kira that he feels the devil approaching and asks to be taken away. Exhausted, he nevertheless barely audibly hums a song with a simple meaning. Having memorized the melody, the doctor later plays it to David’s mother, and the woman says that her son wrote it himself and sang it every time he was scared. It was like a refuge for him.

Kara again begins to think that she is dealing with something inexplicable, but this interpretation does not suit her and she, continuing to dig further, comes to Adam’s house. There she discovers the decomposed corpse of an unknown person and reports it to the police.

A little later, she goes to school to pick up her daughter, and to her horror, she sees Adam next to the girl, who is having a nice conversation with her. Having asked what he is doing here, she receives an amazing answer: she invited him herself. This time it’s not Adam in front of her, but Charles, her father’s colleague and family friend – she actually invited him a few days ago. He didn’t have time to come because he died under strange circumstances in his own home.

Brooklyn ProulxThe role of Sammy was played by Brooklynn Proulx. Still from the film.

Continuing the analysis of her patient’s case, she analyzes the information received and understands that all of his personalities in a conversation with her ask her about faith in God.

Meanwhile, during the interrogation, the policeman asks Adam about the corpse, but he knows nothing about it. The dead man had a cross carved into his back, and the officer expresses his belief that there is some meaning to this. In search of an answer, Kara again goes to David’s mother, and she says that probably only the midwife living in the mountains can help her. Kara meets her and when asked about the cross, the old woman says that it is not a Christian symbol, but a special sign meaning refuge.

Arriving home, Kara learns that Adam was released due to lack of evidence and is now under the care of her father. A little later, the doctor finds information about a certain Reverend Moore, a priest who renounced God in favor of science. He was cursed by a midwife who professed some “ancient faith” and, after she sealed his soul, became “a refuge for unbelievers.” Soon she manages to find an archival video recording of the reverend father, in whom, to her own horror, she recognizes David-Adam. A little later, a detective who called the doctor reports that the decomposed corpse with a cross on its back is Adam.

Towards the end, the doctor discovers on his daughter’s back the same cross as on Adam’s corpse. Having cast aside all doubts, Kara realizes that the girl is in danger, because she was in contact with the cursed priest, and now he is looking for her…

Shelter Ending explained

Explanation of the ending of the film Shelter. Trying to save her daughter, Kara runs with her to the midwife, but she claims that the girl cannot be saved because she does not believe in God. Kara takes her daughter and runs with her into the mountains. The monster overtakes them and performs a diabolical ritual over the girl. The enraged mother, after a short struggle, overcomes him, and the girl comes to her senses. Joyful Kara hugs her daughter, but she begins to hum David’s melody…

The meaning of the ending of the film Shelter is clear: all the souls that lived in the body of Reverend Moore, after his death, went to his daughter Kara. Now it has become a refuge for non-believers.

The meaning of the film Shelter

“Shelter” is a fairly simple story and there is no hidden meaning in it. When the film by Måns Morlind and Björn Stein was released, critics began to mercilessly trash it. And it’s not surprising, because it seems like the essence of the film is that all non-believers are doomed. And only the most attentive and familiar (at least superficially) with the history of religions noticed that at the center of “The Refuge” are esoteric questions based on the Celtic folk worldview.

We learned about the beliefs of the Celts thanks to “Notes on the Gallic War” by Julius Caesar. There he writes that the soul, according to their views, after the physical death of one person passes into another body. It was the belief in a kind of reincarnation (according to Caesar) that made the Celts such brave and desperate warriors.-

crime investigationStill from the film.

The painting features a cross. However, it is not always a symbol of the suffering of Christ and our salvation – the Celts had their own cross, personifying the four seasons or the cyclical nature of everything that happens in nature. However, in the context of the film, it is most likely seen as a kind of protective talisman.

However, “Shelter” is a mystical thriller with horror elements. Therefore, taking Celtic religious views as a basis, the creators of the picture combined them with Christian motifs. The result was a provocation that sparked fierce controversy. Maybe this is exactly what was intended?

However, the question of faith does come up here. Moreover, it is elevated to an imperative – a sentence, to which each of the heroes puts his signature, without much hesitation. And it’s really scary.

At first glance, this picture promotes Christianity – in fact, everything is much more complicated here. For example, the main character Kara. She is a skeptical scientist, an avid atheist who relies entirely on science. Even seeing something that, according to her worldview, cannot exist, she denies to the last the mystical origin of her client’s problem. The servants of the ancient pagan cult are shown here from the positive side, but the church… it simply doesn’t exist. There is a midwife whose confrontation with Reverend Moore is left behind the scenes. She is not just blind from old age – her feature symbolizes “blind” faith, which does not involve doubt.

So, all her actions (typically pagan, almost shamanistic) are not condemned by anyone, including David’s religious mother, although such an approach fundamentally contradicts even very loyal Protestant dogmas.

After all, why is a little girl punished for her lack of faith? People come to faith (as well as to its denial) at a conscious age, and children who are the age of Kara’s daughter “don’t know what they are doing.” And yet, she is doomed. That is, on the one hand, we are told that only those who believe are protected from the forces of darkness, on the other hand, they demonstrate complete impunity for evil…

Mixing right and wrong, this film is confusing. It’s difficult to have an unambiguous attitude towards “Shelter”. This is probably not the kind of film that answers the questions asked. Most likely, it can be classified as stimulating paintings that leave an imprint and force you to look for answers on your own.

save my daughterStill from the film.

Similar films

Here are several films similar to Shelter in meaning and plot:

  • “The Key to All Doors” (USA, Germany, 2005). Caroline Ellis gets a job as a caregiver for an elderly man. The old man’s wife gives her a key that opens all the doors in the old house.
  • “Identification” (USA, 2003). During heavy rain, several people take refuge in an old inn. They soon become convinced that this place is very dangerous.
  • “Astral” (USA, 2010). Young Dalton is in a strange connection with the other world. This greatly scares his parents.
  • “Seven” (USA, 1995). A terrible maniac punishes his victims for the mortal sins they have committed. An experienced detective confronts him.
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