A paratrooper platoon lead by Corporal Boylen (Ed Stoppard) lands in an unknown area of forest during Operation Market Garden and, after being outgunned by a group of German soldiers, they are left with only Boylen, an injured Lance Corp. Ainsworth (Michael Smiley) and Private Charlie Miller (Jack O’Connell) who retreat further into the forest to find somewhere to rest and tend to their injured.
Happening upon a quaint little cottage, it appears to be occupied by only a mother and daughter and the three soldiers decide to storm in and take it for their shelter but the momentary calm is soon to be broken.
The main crux of this short film is when they find the shelter of the title. Playing out a little like the scene in Fury where the Allies impose themselves onto a German family for food and shelter (and with it comes a little bit of normality – for the Allies at least), I got a similar feeling here as the two different lifestyles came crashing together.
Being a short film it lacks a little in allowing the tension to reach the level that this plot requires and was aiming for, just needing it to play out a bit longer. Needing to linger slightly more on the stressful moments to give it the time to build the pressure and tension. When the moments do arrive they are resolved too quickly to feel the relief is fully warranted.
Shelter looks very authentic from start to finish and, being filmed on 35mm, it does hark back to the look of some of the more classic war films. The cinematography is really well done by Sam Care, choosing his shots well and adding to the overall aesthetic of the time and style. Directed and produced by Marcus Meedt and Patrick Gather, they do a great job in making this feel like a small section of a larger, more involved war film and it certainly doesn’t feel like it has been made on a limited budget. Small pickings aside it is well worth watching it for free on Vimeo here.