Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Moviestopped: The Doorway (2000)

Which Horror Film on the same Disc featuring a dead Actor I liked would come first?  The answer is today's Film- The Doorway.  This Horror Film from 2000 comes with another Film- Knocking on Death's Door- featuring David Carradine.  On the plus side, this Title is less creepy in hindsight.  I picked this one first since, well, the Disc was 2-sided and I didn't feel like flipping it over.  Fate works in mysterious ways.  Plus I'm lazy.  In any event, this Story involves four College Students who end up boarding at a mysterious House instead of a Dorm.  Why?  Money- that's why!  Naturally, something spooky starts to happen and they have to figure out why before it is too late.  Of note, the Cast features Roy Scheider.  Taking nothing away from how great the guy was as an Actor, this was a point where he was less, let's go with, picky about his projects.  How else do you explain appearing in Dracula II, Dracula III and The Peacekeeper.  He's also part of a strangely-specific group of Actors who's last work was on a Seth MacFarlane Show.  Considering the diversity of people- including Dennis Farina and Ricardo Montalban- how weird is that?!?  You don't care about weird things that only I notice- you care about the Film.  Is it good?  To find out, read on...
4 'teens' end up at a beat-up old Mansion in the Irish part of New England.  They'll get paid $10k and get free room and long as they fix it up.

Hope they don't mind the dead body in the Cellar.
After a quick montage, one of them reads the legend of the House, which is conveniently in a Book on site.

The gist of it: a bunch of obvious Stock Footage explains that there were once Satanists there.
Sure enough, crazy stuff starts to happen like faces in mirrors, ghosts posing dolls in sex poses (really!) and this lady showing up to be freaky.
Nearly 40 minutes in, we finally meet the guy with before-the-Title-billing.  He plays a Professor who's Assistant is related to the Family that once owned the House.  What are the odds?!?
He agrees to help them look for any phenomenon (and to be the best Actor).  Sure enough, she shows up again...
They find her body and think that this reveal will make her soul rest- you know, like in The Haunting.

Not so much, as she just pops up and kills Scheider's Character, putting an end to his 20 minute run.
They burn the body- since bones are super-flammable!- and go to the Authorities.  While they're gone, a guy dies (see a future Poor Bastards of Cinema induction).
The Cop is killed (off-screen) and it is revealed that one of them is possessed, proceeding to choke his girlfriend with his giant tongue.  Haven't seen that in a while.
After a battle with the possessed guy, the Cenobite-things that keep appearing and the Witch, the Psychic Assistant (who also plays the Witch) seals the Portal by jumping into it with the Medallion that sealed it.

I have several questions about how that works, but whatever.  The End.
I've certainly seen worse, but I've also seen better.  The Story is pretty simple, the Acting is pretty basic and the whole thing feels pretty cheap.  For example, the Ghost Witch Lady floats in one Scene, but never in a full shot.  You see the feet hovering above the ground in a tight shot and you see her back from behind in a different, tight shot.  You get enough of a sense that she's floating...but it is pretty cheap-looking.  Another example- after the bit where they kill Scheider's Character, his body falls away and they never show him above the chest area.  You couldn't afford to make a fake body, I guess.  That said, they do some nice Practical Effects (since CG was still way expensive in 2000) that mostly-work.  They certainly brighten up the otherwise dull Film.  The whole thing is just so simple and stock.  The few times they do something really different, it is mostly just odd.  Why is the Actor obsessed with W.C. Fields?  It doesn't amount to anything, so...why?  All in all, the Film has some good moments (especially with Scheider), but is mostly predictable and bland.  As a bonus, it makes sure to let you know that our Final Girl and Boy DON'T get a happy (or logical) ending...
Up next, the other Film on the Disc.  More spectral stuff, more Direct-to-Video and another dead Actor.  Stay tuned..

1 comment:

  1. i saw this movie 12 years ago, i barley saw this movie 7 mouths ago. but when i saw the whole movie' it still leaves me with a lot of question, I'm amazed that they didn't make a part 2 to understand the story...