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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: At the Devil's Door

December 14th, 2014

At the Devil's Door - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

At the Devil's Door is the third and final horror / thriller I'll be reviewing this weekend. It earned the best reviews of those three films, but that's not saying much. Am I finally going to enjoy one of these movies? Or will horror / thriller go zero for three this weekend?

The Movie

The film begins with a voice-over about the mark of the beast, which is 616 according to the oldest known copy of the Bible. We then see a girl in bed with her new boyfriend, who wants to take her to his uncle. If she plays a game, she can win $500. She's hesitant, but agrees to go with him. Once there she plays the shell game, but even when she tries to lose, she still finds the prize. He then tells her to go to the crossroads and say her name, so he'll know what to call her when he comes for her. That night, she hears a noise coming from her wardrobe and then an unseen force picks her up and throws her around the room.

The next person we meet is Leigh, a real estate agent, and her sister, Vera, who is a struggling artist. Leigh is buying some artwork off of Vera, but gets a call to look at a house. While she's checking it out, she sees the girl there, but when she tries to talk to the girl, the girl runs away. Next we see her talking to the people selling the home, Chuck and Royanna, she mentions seeing their daughter. According to them, Charlene ran away with her boyfriend months ago. After a flashback to the girl just before she "ran away" and a moody stormy night, Leigh goes to check out the house again. She again meets the girl. She convinces her to not run away and calls Chuck... only Chuck says the police found Charlene. So who is the girl? That's too much into spoiler territory to get into.

At the Devil's Door could have been either a really good 30-minute movie, or at the very least there is enough material here for a really good first act of a feature-length movie. What we don't have is a really good feature-length movie. The writer / director Nicholas McCarthy does a great job creating a moody atmosphere and the three lead actresses are all amazing. Ashley Rickards, Catalina Sandino Moreno, and Naya Rivera help elevate the material. However, the story never meshes into a cohesive whole. It needed something more to build up to.

The Extras

Extras include an audio commentary track, deleted scenes with optional audio commentary, and an 18-minute long making of featurette. That's better than a lot of similar releases.

I don't have the Blu-ray to compare, but it only costs $10, which is $10 or 50% less than the DVD. That's a great deal.

The Verdict

At the Devil's Door is frustratingly close to a good movie. There are many parts that are effective and none of it is truly bad. The extras on the DVD or Blu-ray are strong enough that it is worth a rental, if you like the genre and / or cast. I do look forward to seeing what Nicholas McCarthy can come up with next.

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Filed under: Video Review, At the Devil’s Door, Michael Massee, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Daniel Roebuck, Naya Rivera, Nicholas McCarthy, Ashley Rickards, Jan Broberg