Superbly shot and released in 2011 to great critical acclaim, psychological thriller Take Shelter is independent American director Jeff Nichols’ second feature film. Prone to hallucinations and persisting nightmares, working class father Curtis LaForche’s (Michael Shannon) mental state deteriorates gradually to the detriment of his family and work life.
The character’s obsession with building an extension to an existing underground storm shelter reflects his slow descent into paranoid schizophrenia while metaphorically echoing America’s post 9/11 climate of social and economic uncertainty.
Composed by David Wingo (also a singer songwriter with his folk-rock band Ola Podrida), the string-based ambient score adds to the haunting and unsettling atmosphere of Take Shelter. Like wind chimes dangling as storm clouds build up, the recurring main theme of the soundtrack underlines to perfection the character’s intensifying paranoia.