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Featured DVD Review: Enter Nowhere

April 2nd, 2012

Enter Nowhere - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Video on Demand

Enter Nowhere is a low-budget (sub-$2 million production budget) horror film that is coming out Direct-to-DVD this week. It is the directorial debut for Jack Heller, who has previously produced a number of films. Before the DVD arrived I knew almost nothing about the movie, which as I've often said, is a good way to go into a movie. You don't have to worry about preconceived notions affecting your opinion. But is this film an undiscovered gem? Or just one of countless films that will fade away on the home market?

The Movie

The film begins with Jody and her boyfriend, Kevin, driving up to a convenience store, but instead of buying something, they rob the place. When Jody demands the cashier opens the safe, he says something about her life taking the wrong direction, which enough reason for her to shoot him.

Next up we meet Samantha, whose running through the woods and freaking out. She finds a small cabin in the woods and checks it out. There's a radio, a cast iron stove, and small bed, and a bag she rummages through looking for food. When she hears noises outside, she hides under the bed only to see a man dragging an axe enter the cabin. When he leaves, she runs for the woods, but she bumps into the man. Fortunately, the man, Tom, is a good guy. He's stuck in the woods for the same reason Samantha is, car troubles. (She and her husband ran out of gas, while he had an accident.) Her husband went off too look for help while she stayed in the car and when he didn't return the next day she began to panic. Having Tom around is at least a little bit comforting, while her matches help him start a fire in the cabin's iron stove. At least they won't freeze to death that night.

The next day, Tom is off trying to siphon gas from his crashed car to Samantha's car, while Samantha is in the cabin alone. She hears a crash outside and finds Jody passed out and brings her inside. The personality conflict is pretty bad at first, but Tom insists she at least stay the night, as it dropped below freezing the night before. That night Jody has a nightmare, just as Samantha had the night before. It does mellow her mood and she and Sam begin talking. About why they are there. Where they were heading. It's this last point that causes a bit of contention between the two, as ...

We've entered major spoiler territory at this point.

While watching this movie I was reminded of Removal, which I had previously reviewed. (The trailer to that film was one of the trailers on this DVD, so that did spark the memory.) It has a lot of the same strengths and weaknesses. For instance, both films are horror / suspense films that build scares in a slowly drawn out way, which I much prefer to gorefests. (I'm not saying I hate every gory movie, I just prefer mood.) However, like Removal, Enter Nowhere had pacing issues. I was still interested in what was happening, but the film could have been tightened up a little bit. Also, like the previous film, the main twist was hinted at too heavily too early on. (When Tom burns the newspaper to start the fire the camera focuses on the date a little too much. He mentions Sam's classic car but she doesn't think it's a classic. He talks about Jody's vintage jacket and she says it was brand new. Hell, Samantha acts like she's not in the modern age. Clearly there's a time travel aspect to this film. And we learn all of that before we get to the major spoiler where I stopped the plot summary. Also like Removal, Enter Nowhere has strong acting from the four leads, one of which we were not introduced by the time we hit major spoilers. I've seen a number of films with Sara Paxton, in fact, by a strange coincidence, I'm reviewing three of her films this month. However, I don't recall seeing the other three before, so they were pleasant surprises. There's more than enough here that works that I'm willing to overlook the flaws that the film has.

And this includes how they obviously ran out of money before they got to do the special effects for the finale.

The Extras

The only extra on the DVD is a 14-minute making of featurette. It's the usual mix of talking heads, behind-the-scenes footage, and clips from the movie. It's better than most similar DVDs have.

The Verdict

Enter Nowhere is a very good low-budget suspense / mystery film that has a lot going for it. Good script, good cast, etc. It does have a few flaws that hold it back, but the DVD is worth picking up. I'm not exactly happy with the price on Amazon.com, so maybe the Video on Demand is a good way to go, if you like digital downloads.


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