The Grump Of Horror Reviews Door In The Woods (2019)


A couple who have a troubled son, go on a hike and find a lone door standing in a clearing. After taking it home, mysterious things begin to occur…

As a general rule, people in horror films often to stupid things. They split up to go looking for things when friends have gone missing. Never listening to advice or warnings about places and things. And taking home things they find left, or buried somewhere, such as in the woods.

Door In The Woods follows in that tradition.

Personally, if I walk through the woods and find a door standing there with a chain round it, I am not touching it, let alone taking it home. But then, I’m not in a horror film (unless all of life is one, which is an entirely frightening thought!).

What follows is a film that doesn’t really make much sense, has an ending that is predictable (but I’ll come back to this) and certainly is not scary.

Most of this is down to the story and direction by Billy Chase Goforth (making his debut as a feature writer and director). Putting aside the decision to take the door home as it will complete the couple’s home, what follows is some inconsistent logic. The mother, Evelyn (well played by Jennifer Pierce Mathus) after beginning to suspect something is wrong after her spiritual advisor Uriah (played by deaf actor C J Jones) warns her something is wrong. Her leap to the door and missing children felt too much like a stretch, as if something was missing there.

Her husband, Redd (played by David Rees Snell) gets less of a look in but offers support and helps when their son, Kane, goes missing. But as a character he doesn’t get much to do in the story. Kane comes over as a troubled child in some ways, but the film never goes into this aspect too much. He’s having problems at school but I did feel we needed a bit more explanation there.

The final act takes up nearly a third of the running time, which is another major issue as it is so dull as it essentially has people at a table trying to summon whatever is on the other side of the door.

I really wasn’t enjoying this film at all.

Until its ending. Now, if you know horror and with how the final act is playing out, you can perhaps see it coming. I did. But it’s an ending that actually works well for the film, allowing the film to end on an unsettling note.

But the ending and a couple of good performances aside, there’s not much here sadly. It’s a film that never really gets going, certainly never delivering scares and instead comes over as boring.

Sadly, the Door In The Woods, should have stayed there and certainly never opened.

Rating: *1/2 out of 5

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