Door In The Woods Image

Door In The Woods

By Bobby LePire | November 7, 2019

Not only is this a cliche, but nothing comes of it from a story vantage point. At no other time does the evil manifest itself in this way. It is more bland than scary. However, Goforth does an excellent job of establishing the family. The interplay between Reed, Evelyn, and Kane is believable, and they make for a realistically flawed, yet loving, family unit.

A brief comment is made about Kane’s special needs, the reason he is attending the private school where his dad works (which is one of the reasons Reed works there is for a discounted tuition). But this angle is never explored beyond that one line, which means the audience doesn’t fully comprehend Kane’s troubles at school (he got into a fight). Since the family is so well established, examining more of their day to day routine and how the move changes that would have been much more stimulating than the awkward stabs at horror.

“…there is a fascinating and well-acted drama just underneath the surface, battling to get out.”

Helping Door In The Woods from being a total waste of time is the cast. John-Michael Fisher has a line reading or two that sounds a bit forced, but for the most part, he is good. His chemistry with his onscreen parents is absolutely incredible and really sells the family unit. David Rees Snell is fantastic as the put upon but caring husband/ father. His back and forth with Evelyn about how she wanted the door, and now wants it gone, is fun.

As Evelyn, Jennifer Pierce Mathus is excellent. Her empathy, worry, and frustration when learning of Kane’s fight feel genuine, as does her withered excitement over the door. When she goes into investigative mode to figure out the deal with the door, her conviction yet fears both come across equally. While I am reasonably sure this was unintentional, it is hard not to notice that CJ Snells winds up as the token magical African American in the film (he’s a person of color helping a white family via dark arts). He delivers a strong performance despite the groan-inducing trope at play. That couldn’t have been easy, so kudos to him.

Door In The Woods is a bad horror film because it never is able to frighten the viewer, not even with a cheap jump scare. However, there is a fascinating and well-acted drama just underneath the surface, battling to get out. I would love to watch that movie.

Door In The Woods (2019)

Directed and Written by Billy Chase Goforth

Starring David Rees Snell, Jennifer Pierce Mathus, John-Michael Fisher, CJ Snell, etc.

Movie score: 5/10

Door In The Woods Image

"…have you ever been watching a movie and thought it'd be better if it were a different genre?"

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  1. Maria says:

    Hello, Mr. Lepire.

    Thank you for your review.
    This film is indeed “fascinating and well-acted” but
    it’s horror of the SPIRITUAL kind.

    If I may, here is my take on this soul-provoking film:

    This is a film that goes BEYOND “tropes” and “a cheap jump scare”
    and into what is clearly a MORAL dilemma.
    We are being asked the hard but necessary question:
    What would YOU do?

    At the start, we know that the family has moved to a new city,
    and that the troubled son, Kane, is being bullied at school,
    but we don’t know why.

    We have a door in the middle of the woods that is seriously creepy,
    yet this does not deter Evelyn from taking it home with her,
    (despite the warnings from the lady living in the woods)
    and without so much as a peep from her robot–I mean–husband, Redd.
    When the door proves “problematic”, he just makes a joke.

    What takes place at the film’s ending is deplorable.
    And once again, Redd the zombie–I mean–husband,
    just sits there in silence as his wife allows the unthinkable to happen,
    although he too, is complicit.

    Now take a closer look at the characters’ names.
    Ring a bell?

    DOOR IN THE WOODS is about The Fall of Man.

    REDD is the root word of ADAM which means “Red Man”.

    EVELYN is the longer version of EVE.

    KANE is a homophone for CAIN, brother of Abel.

    What this couple did and did not do,
    THIS, Mr. Lepire, is the REAL horror of the film.


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