Take Shelter (2011) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • Plagued by a series of apocalyptic visions, a young husband and father questions whether to shelter his family from a coming storm, or from himself.

  • Curtis, a father and husband, is starting to experience bad dreams and hallucinations. Assuming mental illness, he seeks medical help and counseling. However, fearing the worst, he starts building an elaborate and expensive storm shelter in their backyard. This storm shelter threatens to tear apart his family, threatens his sanity and his standing in the community, but he builds it to save his family's life.

  • Young loving husband and father starts having dreams that display horrible life threatening events and tries to save his family from the unforeseen. But friends and his own family questions his mental Health from crazy hallucination that might break his family apart

  • Curtis and Samantha LaForche live in rural northern Ohio with their young adolescent, deaf daughter Hannah LaForche. Theirs is a close-knit Christian community. Samantha, a stay-at-home wife and mother which allows her to prioritize her time on Hannah, earns extra income by doing sewing for their neighbors and selling things she makes at craft fairs, they relying on Curtis' job for a drilling company not only for its income but more importantly for its generous extended health benefits which in combination and still at great financial expense to them will allow them to get a cochlear implant for Hannah, the surgery scheduled for six weeks' time. One night, Curtis has a nightmare, it of a massive storm producing a golden oily rain followed by an act of violence as a response to the storm. Each successive night he has versions of this same nightmare, always with a massive storm and its golden oily rain followed by a resulting act or threat of violence. During this time, he also notices unusual natural occurrences during his waking hours which only he seems to be experiencing, he unable to distinguish between reality and the nightmares when they are happening, he waking up in a cold sweat from the nightmares and being able to feel the effects of those violent acts in the nightmares for the remainder of the day. He doesn't tell Samantha of anything through which he is going. He tries to remove the perpetrators of those violent acts from his life, they more often than not friends and/or loved ones. He begins to think that he is suffering from mental illness, specifically schizophrenia, he having a family history of it, his mother Sarah who was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic twenty-five years ago and who still lives in assisted care. Regardless, he still can't help but believe that an apocalyptic storm of some sort will occur, his daytime visions and nightmares signs of it. As such, he begins to prepare for the storm, the largest and most expensive manifestation of his preparations being to shore up the existing storm cellar in their back yard. While Samantha had previously noticed Curtis' unusual behavior and actions - he who was able to slough that behavior off as the manifestation of a proverbial cold - that behavior and those actions begin not only to alienate her but also all his friends and colleagues. But what if what Curtis is experiencing is not mental illness but truly a prediction of the apocalypse to come?



The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • A working-class husband and father questions whether his terrifying dreams of an apocalyptic storm signal something real to come or the onset of an inherited mental illness he's feared his whole life.

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