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Saturday, July 9, 2011

DVD Review: SHELLTER (2009)

-------------Review by contributing writer Scott Baker------------------

 
SHELLTER
Written and Directed by:  Dan Donley

I'm not sure why the title is misspelled, but that doesn't matter at all: SHELLTER is one hell of a movie and deserves your immediate attention.
 
If you're not familiar with SHELLTER, you should be. This film has several acclaims, including winner for Best Feature at the Phoenix Fear Film Fest and a nomination for Best Feature at the Dark Carnival Film Fest. Here is the plot, courtesy of imdb.com:
A young woman, Zoey, finds herself in a hospital room in an underground fallout shelter. The doctor, who runs the shelter, explains that an infection has killed the entire population above ground. The only people left are either a few lone survivors like herself, and the infected... the living dead. The only way of curing the infection, she is told, is by surgically removing the affected area. The doctor is assisted by a nurse who has seemingly gone completely insane. Together, they "treat" a steady stream of survivors. The doctor wants Zoey to to replace the unstable nurse and become his new assistant. Zoey is very hesitant, but the doctor is willing to do whatever it takes to survive, no matter how questionable or terrible the acts. But after a patient offers to trade places with Zoey and do "anything" the doctor wants, Zoey realizes that if she doesn't do these terrible things, someone else will do these things to her...

This movie is excellent. It has all the elements that good horror contains: excellent acting, loads of suspense, great gore, and a nice, twist ending.
The cast is superb, with Cari Sanders leading the way playing Zoey, and Will Tulin as the unforgettable Doctor. I have to say, these two folks are stellar in their performances. Tulin's portrayal of the sadistic Doctor is amazing. I've never felt more creeped out than when he smiles, right before doing something disgustingly inhumane. 
 
Which brings up the gore. WOW. For being a low budget film, SHELLTER  has some stunning gore. Gruesome and brutal, the gore adds more realism to the already surrealistic yet barbaric brutality in the film. I have to admit: I almost cringed a couple of times during some of the 'procedure' scenes. Not to mention several procedures that are discussed but now shown. Bleh! Well done, production team, well done
The story is great as well, with the ending providing a nice surprise. I can't say that I didn't see it coming, but the solidification of my suspicions was very satisfying and almost humbling to a point. I certainly commend writer/director Dan Donley for his imagination and vision. I hope to see much more from him in the future.

The bottom line for Shellter is that it earns an A+. Put this one high on your Must See List and check it out as soon as you can. You won't be disappointed, but you might be a bit shocked at times. You'll definitely be entertained, though. 
 
 
 
CLICK HERE to visit the official SHELLTER website and watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD

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