The Shelter writer/director John Fallon was recently interviewed by Horrorfuel.com. Here is an excerpt.
Horror Fuel: “Can you tell us a little about your most recent film, ‘The Shelter’?”
Fallon: “It’s a about a homeless man, played by Michael Paré. He comes back to his home town after five years of being away and is carrying a a bag full of demons and guilt. After visiting his old stomping grounds, he comes across a house with an open door, he goes in, finds food, TV, comforts of life, he thinks he hit the jackpot. But he finds out the hard way that the house won’t let him leave. Then you find out “why”. Who you are and how you were raised spiritually will determine what you get out the film methinks. It’s a little bit of a weird ride”
Uncork’d Entertainment has acquired US and Canadian rights to the horror-thriller The Shelter, with both a theatrical and digital release planned for the fall.
Written & directed by John Fallon and produced by Fallon and Donny Broussard, The Shelter stars Michael Paré (Eddie and the Cruisers, The Virgin Suicides) in one of his most acclaimed performances in recent times.
Scream Horror Magazine says Paré “steals each and every scene” while Aint it Cool News says he “really gives it his all here, plunging to emotional depths I never thought he was able to do”.
Gayle James, Rachel Whittle, Amy Wickenheiser and Daena Turner co-star in “the smart man’s horror film” (Icons of Fright).
“I’m very pleased to be partnering with John and Berge to introduce The Shelter to U.S. and Canadian audiences,” says Uncork’d Entertainment President Keith Leopard. “Michael [Paré] is superb in the lead role – we’re anticipating some great notices on his turn here.”
“It was very important for me to find a domestic distributor that understood The Shelter for what it was and that wouldn’t try to rework it into something that it wasn’t,” says Writer/Director John Fallon. “I thankfully found that in Uncork’d Entertainment and I am beyond elated to move forward with them on the picture!”
In The Shelter, widower and homeless man Thomas Jacobs (Michael Paré) finds shelter for the night when he falls upon a vast two-story house with the lights on and an inviting open front door. He strolls on in thinking he just caught a lucky break and for a while, it would appear as though he did. But soon enough, he realizes that the house won’t let him leave, as its doors are all locked while its windows cannot be opened or broken. Destiny has brought Thomas to this place. What does it want from him? Will he survive the ordeal?
Of his role, Paré said “The Shelter tells a great and painful tragedy, not about global disaster or war or economic collapse but of the individual human heart. The human heart and soul is what all art seeks to unravel. Guilt, regret and shame kill the heart and soul. When our lower animal nature dominates our character our soul is lost.”
With visual effects by Thomas Wilson (Insidious, The Conjuring), The Shelter was executive produced by Bruise Productions and JoBlo Movie Productions. Holbrook Multi Media completed the production and post-production elements.
Composer (and Kamloops native) Shawn Knippelberg and Writer Director John Fallon were recently interviewed by Kamloopsthisweek.com about the music in The Shelter.
Shawn: “I’d do a scene of the movie and send it to him for his approval and he’d send me back notes of what he wanted, what he liked or didn’t like. It was probably a little longer than the process normally is, but I think it worked out pretty good.”
John: “It’s a fairly morose film so there’s not much in terms of chipper music. I would say the bulk of the movie is sombre and sad music, and weird, eerie, ominous music,” he said. “It’s about going scene by scene and looking at what the scene is trying to say, and then getting the music to amplify the themes.”
From Writer/Director John Fallon: As we strive to bring you some wonderful THE SHELTER news very soon (I know I’ve been saying that for a month now, but things takes the time it takes i.e. much longer than anticipated); I felt like sharing with y’all one of the first pieces of feedback I got about the film, in the name of giving you an idea as to what you’re in for.
The thoughts come from French Producer/Director JULIEN DUNAND, whom I worked with on DEAD SHADOWS in 2012. The lad also produced/directed BIG JOHN (2006) and DU SANG SUR LA NEIGE (2013) and produced NWR (Nicolas Windig Refn). Here is an edited version of his take on the picture (had to shave the piece down in the name of not spoiling the film):
“I finished watching The Shelter. Not only do I think it’s a good movie but it might even be a great one. I probably need to see it again in a few months just to be sure. All I knew before watching it was that it was some kind of a haunted house flick. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
The Shelter is a reflection about Christianity and redemption. It stands on its own as an independent film. I was taken completely by surprise. I never thought it would be what it was. As a Christian catholic, I completely got what you were trying to say. The film has real power, and I don’t mean the images. Yes the shots and frames are quality, and the overall work on visuals is very good. So is the excellent sound design. But I never paid too much attention to technique. Because visuals to me are concrete, almost mathematics. If you have decent money and a good crew, it’s not that complicated to have good camera work. I’m not saying it’s easy –just that it’s controllable. On the other hand what isn’t, is soul. The will to express something.
One thing I’ve learned in this business over the past 10 years is that it’s very easy to make a bad movie. And it’s even easier to make an average one. Directing is having something to say. I see plenty of brilliantly shot movies all the time, but they’re dull and useless because they have nothing to say. They are soulless. So they just exist out there in the middle of thousands of other ones and no one will ever remember them in 6 months. So what’s the point of making them? Making a first film can be so hard that if you don’t have anything to say, don’t do it. It’s just not worth it.
A true director is someone who has his own eye (le regard in French). And having an own eye means having soul, putting your heart and guts on screen. Expressing something. In the end it’s all that matters. It’s all that counts. It’s all that’s remembered. And I felt you did that.
It is also obvious to me that religion at some point played an important part in your life. All these images are very reminiscent to me of the early works of Martin Scorsese, from Means Streets right up to Cape Fear, but also of Abel Ferrara’s Bad Lieutenant (Thomas’ character has a direct link with Harvey Keitel’s character). Who gets to ask for redemption? At what price? Under what conditions? The Shelter confronts these issues with power and force. It’s meaningful.
I tend to get emotional about all of this but the most important thing I want to say to you is this: You have something here. So what ever you do next, don’t fuck it up! Congratulations John!”
Veteran genre site ICONS OF FRIGHT just reviewed THE SHELTER and it was thankfully positive. Read an excerpt below and check out the entire review HERE.
“THE SHELTER is most definitely the smart man’s horror film, putting more effort into giving its viewers a character study of a man, lost and broken and forced to face and overcome the past mistakes that caused his life to spiral out of control. It’s great to see Pare shine again, he really gives a powerful performance, one that is broken and jaded, yet damaged and full of pain in ways that we as a viewers seek to put together.”
Thank you Jerry Smith at Icons of Fright for taking a look.
Writer/Director John Fallon recently sat down with Punk Globe to talk about The Shelter. Here is an excerpt!
“We had a fairly smooth shoot. But post-production proved to be very challenging. A lot of weird technical things kept happening, which slowed down the film’s progress considerably. It got to the point that we all started to think that we were messing with things that we’re not supposed to be messing with. I can almost write a book about the very strange things that happened around The Shelter; mostly during the writing and post-production stages.”
“It’s clearly a very personal, intelligent work of art by an emerging, talented filmmaker and an aging character actor showing he has depth and range with challenging material.”
“The film is definitely open to interpretation. That is, also, let’s be fair, utterly refreshing when compared to other, tried-and-tested, cookie cutter movies. When was the last time you were left asking questions or thinking about what it all means?”
Nice to start to year right. We just got our first review of 2016 via Scream Horror Mag and it’s a positive one! Here’s are two excerpts:
“With Pare in pretty much every frame, he deserves so much praise as he steals each and every scene and goes beyond the call of duty!”
“Whilst Fallon’s film will probably polarize most audiences, as it boldly goes where most films daren’t – relating a somewhat incongruent tale that does anything but spoon-feed viewers; in my book, that’s the epitome of the kind of films people need to be queuing up to catch instead of the spate of Hollywood horrors that don’t even try to get the audience’s grey matter muscles flexing.”
After its showings late last year at Film4 Frightfest, the Sitges Film Festival and the A Night of Horror Film Festival (where star Michael Paré won the “Career Achievement” Award for his work in the film), THE SHELTER keeps on trucking in 2016.
We’re presently securing further Festival screenings (to be announced soon) while seeking a home in terms of worldwide distribution. In light of the BERLIN MARKET happening as we speak, we decided to release a clip from the film – see it below! You can e-mail us HERE for distribution inquiries.