Shelter (15)

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The Independent Culture

Julianne Moore plays a psychiatrist whose scepticism as an expert witness on multiple-personality disorders has ensured the death penalty for a number of murderers.

(She drinks heavily while watching the TV announcements at the prison gates, just in case we think she's callous). Her theories are unsettled, however, on meeting a young man (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) whose schizoid channelling of different characters seems to be the real thing. The early scenes in which Moore's professional cool is challenged have a genuine creepiness, but once the script insinuates a religious angle into the story – Moore's young daughter is a fledgling non-believer – Shelter just bombs. Occult rituals, scalding crosses and uncontrollable vomiting of dirt-stretch plausibility to breaking; the implication that it's all the work of the Devil, probably, snaps it like a twig.

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