Indie Spotlight is a series focusing on reviews of independent films
After saving a wealthy Japanese gentleman from a mugging, Owen (Sam Kantor) is offered a job at one of the man’s family businesses. Owen arrives at an old abandoned meat-packing plant and is told to put on a security uniform, sit at a desk, and make sure that the door at the other end of the room does not open. With his boss being too ambiguous about what’s behind the door, Owen eventually decides that the job is not for him, despite the $500 a day salary. However, before he could be relieved by a replacement, he is suddenly joined by his girlfriend Abby (Winny Clarke), best friend Matt (Matt O'Connor), Matt’s girlfriend Jess (Alys Crocker) and friends Olivia (Liv Collins) and Mia (Jessie Yang). When Owen is not looking, Mia takes the key to the door and goes inside, leaving the rest of the friends no choice but to follow and search for her.
The Door has a relatively simple horror concept, in which some mysterious evil force is kept locked behind a secured door in a warehouse. The film remains somewhat ambiguous about what this force actually is, other than the fact that it is apparently supernatural and that it has the power to play mind tricks with individuals. Other than the appearance of a mysterious girl, who may or may not be a hallucination, there is no real physical manifestation of the entity beyond the door, with the film opting for a more psychological brand of horror.
The Door has a very “style over substance” feel to it. Shot nearly entirely in an old warehouse, the film generates its mood from its heavy use of shadows and coloured lighting. The plot of the film is coherent enough, even though it could have been more clear about what exactly is beyond the door. The film also features some pretty bad dialogue from the characters, which is almost laughable to watch at times. While there are some smart touches to The Door, such as the way the film ends, the film could have better developed its ideas.
When it all comes down to it, The Door has an interesting set-up and ending, but is somewhat lagging in the middle. In some ways, the film could have been a better concept for a short film, which would have been better suited for the film’s highly ambiguous nature. As it stands, much of the film has these friends walking around in a dark maze and not much else.
For an independently produced low-budget horror film, The Door is pretty well put together, with an interesting concept. However, the film is just missing that extra bit of substance that would have made it a truly enjoyable watch.
6 | WATCHABLE
The Door is now available for purchase from Black Fawn Distribution.