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Film / 6 Souls

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6 Souls (released as Shelter outside the USA) is a 2010 American Horror Film starring Julianne Moore, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jeffrey DeMunn, and Frances Conroy. Cara Harding (Moore) is a widowed single mother with a flourishing career as a forensic psychiatrist. She has made a name for herself by debunking alleged cases of multiple personality disorder. Cara's father (DeMunn), however, believes that she has become closed-minded. Searching for a case Cara cannot refute, he brings her Adam (Rhys-Meyers;) a young man who assumes not only the persona, but the physical disabilities of a paralyzed man. Cara initially meets the challenge enthusiastically, but the case takes an eerie turn as more of Adam's personalities emerge. Meanwhile, a mysterious, flu-like illness slowly begins to infect Cara's friends and loved ones...

This film provides examples of:

  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Cara does a good job of avoiding this, approaching her doubts realistically and scientifically. But her father believes she has succumbed to it all the same.
  • Arc Words: "Shelter the faithless!"
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: A few onscreen glimpses indicate that the Sheltering immediately corrupts the bodies of its victims, but this is not the case with Sammy.
  • Body Horror: After the gruesome effects of the Sheltering, having one's soul sucked out through their mouth almost seems anticlimactic.
  • Blind Seer: Granny, with the help of a proxy.
  • Came Back Wrong: A rare example of this being deliberately inflicted as a punishment.
  • Downer Ending: At the end of the film Cara's father, brother, and daughter are dead and her daughter's body is reanimated with someone else's soul.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The trick of using the phone to induce a shift becomes crucial near the end of the film.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Granny primarily uses her powers to heal people and her cures actually work, but get on her bad side and you won't be the only one to suffer.
  • Hollywood Atheist: An improbably high number of characters, including a little girl. Justified when it is revealed that the villain is cursed to eternally hunt exactly this kind of person and absorb their souls into his body.
  • Hope Spot: All seems well when Sammy wakes up at the end, only for her to start humming a familiar tune...
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Granny: a seemingly immortal witch who sees through the eyes of a mute creepy child, who can move peoples' souls in and out of their bodies at will, and who seems to possess a very incomprehensible and inhuman set of morals.
    • Likewise the Reverend: a soulless undead revenant cursed to walk the earth forever, consuming the souls of others as atheistic as himself.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: A particularly heartbreaking example.
  • Market-Based Title: Released as Shelter outside of the U.S. - Shelter was the originally intended title, but there had already been an unrelated drama film of that name released in the U.S. in 2007.
  • Savage South: Subverted. At first glance, the Holler Folk seem to fit the inbred mutant hillbilly stereotype to a tee. But apart from being superstitious and uncommunicative, they are harmless. Subverted again when their leader turns out to be an immortal witch with power over life and death themselves.