Welcome to At the Devil's Door, which starts out innocuously enough: Leigh, played by Catalina Sandino Moreno, a young real estate agent, is approached by a couple looking to sell their home as quickly as possible. She eagerly takes on the responsibility in hopes of furthering her career. While viewing the home for the first time Leigh encounters a girl in a raincoat, who she believes to be the runaway daughter of the couple. And she could not be more wrong. It's not long before Leigh finds herself caught in the middle of a dangerous and deadly situation.
Buckle your seatbelts, writer/director Nicholas McCarthy is about to take you on a bumpy ride. This movie is a 91 minute roller-coaster of suspense, fear and surprise.
I was immediately captivated from the opening scene. Imagine if you will... the voice of a small child paraphrasing Revelations 13.
"I saw a beast coming up out of the sea. It deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It forced all people to receive a mark on their right hands, which is the number of the beast.. And that number is six... six... six.
You may recognize that sweet voice as none other than Ava Acres of Disney's Frozen, but don't get too comfortable. We're a long way from all that colorful, light hearted animation. That feeling you get at the edge of your seat is relentlessly delivered. And At the Devil's Door provides it right up until the end.
'The Girl,' Hanna, played by Ashley Rickards who you may recall from her roles in One Tree Hill and MTV's Awkward, engages us from the very beginning. She is a genuine and relatable girl who is overcome by forces she cannot control when a one-night-stand convinces her to pay a visit to some sort of magical psychic medium.. in a trailer.. in the desert. Bad enough idea already, right? But why did he take her there in the first place? To sell her soul, of course, so long as she takes this dirty roll of 20s and shouts her name in the middle of the street. Wait. What? This idea went from bad to wayyyyyyy worse. But that's why we love leading ladies in horror flicks. They always take the bait.
Naya Rivera, of Glee, makes her silver screen debut as Leigh's sister Vera, an artist who quickly gets sucked into the darkness surrounding her. When she receives the call informing her of her sister's death she decides to take matters into her own hands and investigate the strange occurrences surrounding it. Again, bad idea. But they don't stop there.
The only real downfall was dialogue. It can come across a bit flat at times. The supporting characters didn't really lend much...support. That only makes us all the more thankful for an awesome soundtrack. Ronen Landa did a fantastic job setting the mood the entire way through the film. Each note grabbed you in exactly the way it was meant to and pulled everything together perfectly, giving great cause to the fright while engulfing your senses.
We don't want to give everything away, so let me just tell you, if you're looking to feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, to have goosebumps overtake your body, if you're looking to feel your heart pound against the walls of your chest, this is the movie to make it happen. It did something we need more horror flicks to do: it completely stuck to its convictions and visions and delivered something truly scary. And it did it with a touch of originality. We don't want to be the only ones with chills up our spine so we highly recommend checking the piece out on VOD, or better yet, when it makes its theatrical debut September 12th!
So what's next? Are you gonna grab up some popcorn, a flashlight and a crucifix and join me? Or are you going to pass it up thinking it's just like all those that have come before?