Door in the Woods
Directed by: Billy Chase Goforth
Run time: 89 minutes
The Lowdown: Writer-director Billy Chase Goforth’s sophomore feature, Door in the Woods, is the stuff of nightmares.
Goforth takes a ridiculously simple premise – a family out hiking discovers a door in the woods, standing solitary, with a key in its lock. The mom, Evelyn, a designer, wants to use it inside their house. The dad, Redd, moves it. And their son, Kane, suddenly begins to experience things that can’t be explained.
Door in the Woods effectively mixes jump scares with some truly unnerving backstory that’s nicely woven into the third act. It turns out the door is the only remaining piece of a house where lots of children went missing and were never found.
But what elevates Door in the Woods is its deliciously wicked conundrum, which Evelyn and Redd must confront after crossing over into the spirit realm to rescue Kane once the door takes him too.
It’s there, in a realm that gives the further from the Insidious franchise a run for its spooky ghost money, that Redd is offered a deal to save his son’s soul, and the choice he must make is handled very effectively by Goforth, so much so that it continues to haunt you after the credits roll and you’ve stopped watching the film.
This one should definitely be on your must-see list.
The Stuff You Care About:
Hot chicks – No.
Nudity – No.
Gore – Minimal.
Drug use – No.
Bad Guys/Killers – The door, man. Don’t open the door!
Buy/Rent – Buy it.
An American Werewolf in London: Limited Edition (Arrow Video, 97 minutes, R, Blu-Ray): While it’s not the first high-definition release for John Landis’ 1981 classic, An American Werewolf in London, Arrow’s impressive boxed collector’s set includes a trove of new special features, including a 77-minute documentary, “Mark of the Beast: The Legacy of the Universal Werewolf,” new looks at the groundbreaking special effects and a new interview with Landis.
And that’s before we even talk about the gorgeous hard-case shell and special collector’s book complete with essays, a mini-poster and six postcards.
The Witching Season (Scream Team Releasing, 93 minutes, Unrated, DVD): The Witching Season, a short-lived horror anthology that aired on cable television back in 2015, is yet another surprisingly consistent horror anthology from writer-director Michael Ballif, who helmed two of the standout short films, “Killer on the Loose,” which plays with audience expectations about the identity of a brutal serial killer stalking people on Halloween, and “They Live Inside Us.” A third short, “Princess,” manages to inject noticeable menace into a stuffed animal that may or may not be a vessel for a demonic entity.
Plaguers: 10th Anniversary Special Edition (Wild Eye Releasing, 86 minutes, Unrated, Blu-Ray): If you’re going to have a genre icon toplining your ambitious sci-fi frightfest, Steve Railsback is a good choice.
Plaguers is an interesting mashup of Alien and 28 Days Later with a healthy dollop of Roger Corman B-grade cheese. Some of the effects, like the exteriors of the spaceships, are not that great; yet, the interior sets throughout are surprisingly solid.
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