Film Pulse Score

  • Save
Release Date: September 12, 2014 (Limited)
Director: Nicholas McCarthy
MPAA Rating: NR

Director Nicholas McCarthy exploded onto the scene back in 2012 with his festival hit The Pact, which was a fantastically creepy little horror flick.  Now, his next movie, At The Devil’s Door, is set come out, but it unfortunately doesn’t achieve the same level of originality or suspense as his previous film.  It’s a humdrum supernatural thriller that favors jump scares over any real tension and while it starts off intriguing, it quickly devolves into a mostly boring series of horror clichés.

The film begins with a girl falling for a boy who coerces her into selling her soul for 500 bucks.  After doing so, whatever demon she was sacrificed to comes back and takes her, but not before messing with her a bit by opening her closet and making creepy sounds.  Fast forward a few years and a hot shot young realtor is tasked with selling the house of the girl only to find the demon is still there and needs another host to bring himself into the mortal world.

There are several problems with Home that prevent it from being a solid horror flick.  First, are the copious amounts of jump scares that seem to be present only to make the audience jump.  They make little sense and are at times downright laughable.  One particular instance that got me out of my seat was a quick cut to some sort of creature hiding in a cupboard.  Why was this demon hiding in the cupboard?  Is it like the crew in Monsters Inc. that draw power from people’s screams?  The film takes so many liberties with the logic of this demon that I left with so many more questions than answers.

One thing At The Devil’s Door did have going for it was the visuals.  It looked great for being an indie horror, and it’s clear that McCarthy has a great eye when it comes to atmosphere.  The effects work looked good as well, however there are some things that happen between the demon and his victims that looks slightly goofy, however I don’t want to spoil what that is.

The script and the performances are another rough area of the film.  The acting is noticeably bad at times and the characters have some fairly odd and unnatural conversations with one another.  I’m not a stickler for acting, however there were certain moments that pulled me out of the movie.

I really wanted to like this film.  I think McCarthy has a lot of promise as a director and I loved The Pact, but there’s just not enough new material here to make it a true recommendation.  It’s certainly better than most straight to VOD horror releases, but the stilted performances and lackluster story make At The Devil’s Door nothing more than average.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.