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THE OPEN DOOR (2008)

-Review by Nic Brown-

Life can be filled with problems. To a teenager, things like being grounded and missing a party can seem like an Earth-shattering tragedy. Sometimes what a person needs is for someone to listen to them - someone who understands their pain and doesn’t trivialize the problems that to them seem so huge. Even better, what if that person lending an ear could not only offer them advice, but perhaps even grant them a wish or two? It would be hard to resist such temptation; but the old saying is true: you must be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.

 

In writer/director Doc Duhame’s film THE OPEN DOOR, an urban legend about a pirate radio station that only broadcasts on the night of the full moon and grants callers their heart’s desire proves to be all too real for a group of California teenagers. Angelica (Catherine Georges) loves the star of the football team Brad (Mike Dunay) and she’s friends with Staci (Sarah Christine Smith) one of her school’s “In” crowd. Angelica is even the object of desire for the clique’s leader, Owen (Ryan Doom). Unfortunately for her though, her parents don’t see these as good things and believe that Angelica is fallingin with a bad crowd. They forbid her from going to a party with Brad and tell her she can’t see her new friends anymore.

 

It is during the height of Angelica’s anguish over the treatment her parents have given her that she remembers the legend of the pirate radio show. She scans the dial and soon finds it. As she listens to the show it is almost like the DJ is speaking directly to her, as he talks about taking control and doing what you want instead of what others want you to. The DJ soon introduces the Oracle, a woman who claims to help people fulfill their hearts desire. All you must do is tell her what you want and make a pact with her to get it. As the evening wears on, Angelica becomes more and more upset about her situation, especially when it appears that she may lose Brad. Finally Angelica gives in and calls the Oracle. Little does she know that the pact she’s made really will grant her what she’s wished for, but not in the way she expects. As her friends begin dying, Angelica learns that the pact has opened a door for something evil to come in and now she and her friends are going to pay.

 

Doc Duhame’s THE OPEN DOOR is a supernatural horror film that packs a punch. The story is a well-crafted mix of PUMP UP THE VOLUME and Clive Barker’s WISHMASTER. The idea that you have to be careful what you wish for is a popular theme in supernatural horror, and watching Angelica’s friends and family face death and destruction through her seemingly harmless wishes is disturbing. The evil force unleashed by the Oracle takes no true form, but moves from person to person, possessing them and using their bodies to do its bidding. This makes fighting it impossible without hurting the ones it controls as well.

The special effects are another high point. There is some CGI, but Duhame doesn’t make the effects the center of the story. It also doesn’t go in for being overly graphic with the gore. There is some, but the movie does not depend on it for shock value. The film is well cast, but possibly the best performance comes from Georges as Angelica. Georges brings good emotional depth to the character without going overboard with the angst filled teen side of it. Smith’s portrayal of Staci is also worth mentioning, although the story about why the pair are “best friends forever” in the first place could use more development. The two characters are so different from one another that their friendship feels forced at times. The intention there may be that Staci was only friends with Angelica in order to help Owen get her, but even that idea seems underdeveloped. Minor issues aside, THE OPEN DOOR is definitely worth watching. So if you’re wishing for a good horror film to pass the time when the moon is full, check out THE OPEN DOOR, but remember to be careful what you wish for.

To more about THE OPEN DOOR visit: http://www.theopendoormovie.com



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