Sheriff Austin Shelby is determined to uncover the dangerous and deadly facts behind the Nellie Harper murder for hire plot. After an attempt on his own life the Sheriff teams up with a mysterious US Marshal who has just arrived in town.
Despite her parents’ wishes, Nellie decides to move out west with her new husband, Ben, a man whom she has only known for three weeks. Shortly after their marriage, Nellie realizes things are not as they seem. When Ben is killed as a result of a scandal, Nellie must protect herself from his secrets, and those who will kill to protect them.
Shelby’s Shack is written with a brilliant storyline — not only is it entertaining, it’s also suspenseful, mildly comical, and also heartwarming. The movie includes breathtaking scenery, which adds to the captivating plot. The camerawork is steady, and even reverts to some artistic shots, which add mystery to the story. Each character is fairly well developed, and the actors seem to work well together.
While the movie contains plenty of music that adds dramatic effect, it is often a little bit too loud. Sometimes it is difficult to hear the actors and understand what is going on, as the music seems to be out of place. It is clear that producers attempted to use flashforwards to illustrate what’s to come, but at times this makes the plot unclear. The movie seems begin in medias res.
The actors in this film do a wonderful job portraying their character, but the scripting and delivery is monotonous. In some cases, like when Liz confronts her husband, Keg, towards the end of the movie, the situation seems to require more emotion, yet none is present. The violence in the film is mild, yet clearly there — viewers never actually see a bullet hit a person, when a wound is tended to it is already bandaged, and any fist fights present are covered by creative camerawork.
Shelby’s Shack is a great film for those who love classic Westerns. It sheds light on some societal norms of the time and creates an opening for historical education. Despite a few plot holes and loud music, Shelby’s Shack is a wonderful movie for adults and older children!
Shelby’s Shack is Dove-Approved for Ages 12+.
The Dove Take:
Filmed as a modern-day Western movie, Shelby’s Shack incorporates themes from the early nineteen hundreds as Nelly learns to fend for herself in a world that is unfamiliar to her.