August 14, 2014

VOD Review: At the Devil's Door (2014)
After his 2012 directorial debut, The Pact (our review HERE), we decided that whatever Nicholas McCarthy's next movie venture was, we'd see it no matter what.

No, The Pact wasn't perfect or anything, but it was pretty damned good, and after seeing it, it was clear to us that the guy knew how to make an effective Horror flick.

Sophomore films can be a tricky thing for directors though, as many times they tend to underwhelm, but we can honestly say that with At the Devil's Door, Nicholas McCarthy has beat the Sophomore Jinx.

Good for him.
The movie starts out with a cute young girl lying in bed with her shifty ass boyfriend, who is trying to convince her to go and play a "game" with his Uncle. Since she's obviously not all that bright, she agrees to head out into the middle of nowhere (where Uncle Rapey lives in a trailer that just screams "run!") and play his game. *Note to teenage girls: When a boy that you "love" tells you that you can earn $500 by  playing a secret game with his Uncle in the middle of the desert, tell him no, because he obviously doesn't love you back.

Seems legit.
After sticking her hand in a sack and "picking one," the girl plays a version of the shell game with Uncle Rapey, which she wins rather easily. What does she win, you ask? Well she gets to be "chosen, " which means that she's supposed to go to where the roads meet, and say her name so that "He" knows who she is he comes for her. We can only guess that "He" is either Satan, or yet another creepy Uncle that is out to do the poor girl some sort of pervy harm.

Yay, she won!
We really don't want to say anything more about the plot here, lest we spoil its twists and turns for you, but let us say that once we meet the real estate agent who is tasked with selling a house, and her artist sister, the story goes off in some pretty crazy directions, most of which may keep you from sleeping soundly for a few days. Especially if you have a creepy Uncle.

What is this, The Blair Mirror Project?
Nicholas McCarthy knows how to do chilling suspense as well as any director working in the Genre today. His first effort, The Pact (our review HERE), was one of our favorite flicks of 2012, and we found At the Devil's Door to be every bit as good as that one, if not better.  

First and foremost, this is one creepy movie. For the second movie in a row, Nicholas McCarthy has gone light on the visceral Horror, instead opting to focus on elements like mood, atmosphere, and subject matter to drive the story forward. ATDD may not have made us jump, scream, or avert our eyes, but it sure as hell unsettled us, and made us cock our ears at every creak and noise that we heard for the rest of the night. 

The plot of At the Devil's Door twists and turns, skips back and forth through time, and eventually loops back on itself to connect everything, all to great effect. This is a deftly plotted movie that weaves the stories of its three main characters together in a clever way, culminating in an end game that made us want to go back and watch it again to see if it played differently. It really feels like an Anthology containing three separate stories that end up well connected by the end.

The cast is especially strong here; Naya Rivera rises above her cheesy Glee roots to give us a sympathetic heroine that we couldn't help but pull for; Ashley Rickards plays haunted and creepy pretty well, even if her role didn't involve a lot of dialogue; and Catalina Sandino Moreno played her part admirably as well, although her role was the smallest of the three leads.

...but it's not even raining.
***ENDING SPOILERS*** The ending was a bit anti-climactic. After everything that happens, after everything that our Final Girl goes through, and all we get is car driving off while a menacing storm brews overhead?

Dammit, what a letdown of an ending! I was kinda expecting an Omen type of ending, where Final Girl gets put down by the Po-Po just as she's about to save the day and kill the threat, thus leaving it to roam free and cause havoc.

We didn't get that type of resolution though. What we did get was nothing; we have no idea what the endgame of the Demon/Devil was, and what their plans, if any, would be, going forward. ***END OF SPOILERS***

Despite the spoiler tag, I'm still trying to keep things a vague as possible, because ruining movie endings for people, even those that like to be spoiled, really bothers me. Still, you probably get the point that the ending disappointed us.

Um, what's that behind you?
***SLIGHT SCENE SPOILER*** We're still not sure where the blood on Girl's hand came from after the "Baby" scene. She clearly didn't kill the baby, and she had just walked home in the pouring rain, so where did it come from? And why did she put the baby under a cabinet?!?

She sucks at babysitting.
There's a bit of violence in this one, but overall this movie is completely bloodless... aside from the blood on the hand that we mentioned above.

There is less nudity and sexuality in this one than there is blood... unless you count kissing, which we don't.

What a waste of a hot, wet girl.
The opening sequence was probably our fave, because it set such a tense and eerie mood for the rest of the movie.

Also, it was nice to see Olivia Crocicchia show up in a scene. It reminded us of how great of a show Recuse Me was.
Don't ever play a mysterious "game" with someone's creepy Uncle for money; there's just no way that it will end well for you.

Not worth the $500.
Despite leaving us with a few unanswered questions, and an underwhelming ending that made us say "that's it?," At the Devil's Door is one hell of a spooky little Haunted House flick. If you liked The Pact, then you'll like this one, and maybe even more so. If you like creepy, dark, and moody fright flicks, then definitely give it a rent, or catch it when it hits Theaters. Either way, just see it.


At the Devil's Door is available now on VOD, and will be in Theaters (limited) on September 12th.

This movie did not lack in the Hottie department.


  1. I liked The Pact better. This one was half-baked, often confusing, and somewhat unsatisfying. Had its moments though.

  2. Thank you for the review of 'At The Devil's Door.' I'd seen 'The Pact' last year, was impressed but couldn't recall the movie. Watched both of them on you tube last night.
    I have no problem with ambiguity in matters of the supernatural, (too much information can kill an otherwise excellent movie: i.e. 'The Changeling'.), but I wish I knew why the girl in the beginning was picked and at the end, and I agree with you on its' let-down factor, what the two of them were going to do next.
    The sound of flies is an obvious indication that the demon is Beelzebub, the Lord of the Flies and a quick internet search last night to refresh memory and I learned that he is the lord of chaos which explains the news broadcasts throughout the film.
    McCarthy joins Mike Flannigan, Ti West, James Wan in giving us horror movies that are more than torture porn and zombies.

  3. this was a bit strange...makes me wonder what plot / storylines they threw out before arriving at this one. had all the right set ups and creepiness , just very confusing and lathargic.
    i really wanted to like this.

  4. I couldn't follow your way of seeing this as almost perfect. I was bored all along. For me, this was average at most. From this, I'm not gaining anything. And the little girl I didn't find creepy but annoying and I would smack her around. I mean, why bother to chase her and do what happened next?