At the Devil's Door

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At the Devil's Door
At the devils door poster.jpg
Teaser poster
Directed by Nicholas McCarthy
Produced by Sonny Mallhi
Written by Nicholas McCarthy
Starring
Music by Ronen Landa
Cinematography Bridger Nielson
Edited by
  • Bill Neil
  • Jake York
Production
company
  • Varient
  • Candlewood Entertainment
  • XYZ Films
Distributed by IFC Films
Release dates
  • March 9, 2014 (2014-03-09) (SXSW)
  • September 12, 2014 (2014-09-12) (United States)
Running time
91 minutes
Country United States
Language English

At the Devil's Door (originally titled Home)[1] is a 2014 American horror film directed by Nicholas McCarthy. The film had its world premiere on March 9, 2014, at South by Southwest.[2] It stars Naya Rivera as a woman caught in the middle of supernatural events.[3]

Plot[edit]

A teenage girl (Ashley Rickards) is told by her new boyfriend that she can get $500 by playing a game run by an old man living in a trailer. After she wins the game, the old man (Michael Massee) instructs her to go to the crossroads and say her name so that "he" will know who to take. At home later that night, the girl hears voices before being lifted into the air.

A real estate agent Leigh (Catalina Sandino Moreno) is trying to sell the home of Chuck (Dan Roebuck) and Royanna (Jan Broberg). While going over the various details of the couple's property, Leigh mentions that she saw a young girl inside their home. The couple assume that Leigh saw their missing daughter, Charlene, who ran away with her boyfriend several months earlier.

When Leigh goes back to the couple's house she finds "Charlene." Leigh calls Chuck to let him know that she found Charlene; however, Chuck tells Leigh that police found his daughter at a local mall hours ago. Puzzled, Leigh looks at the files from the couple's home and finds an article with "Charlene's" picture in. Leigh realizes that the girl she had seen was actually Hannah White, a girl who had committed suicide in 1987. Leigh notices Hannah is missing and tries to look for her in the house. She finds Hannah in an empty room staring into a mirror. When Leigh tries to speak with Hannah, she is attacked by some unseen force, falls to the floor, and dies.

The coroner tells Leigh's sister Vera (Naya Rivera) that she died of natural causes. Later in Leigh's home, Vera finds Leigh's files from the couple's house and visits Hannah's old childhood friend. Hannah's friend reveals that Hannah had been pregnant before she died. Many people believed that Hannah had committed suicide because of her pregnancy. However, Hannah's friend insists that Hannah had been a virgin, and that she may have killed herself to stop her supernatural child from being born. Since Hannah had killed herself, the demon that had tried to possess her child, instead took over her body until it could find another vessel.

Vera returns to her home, where she is assaulted by a demonic force that throws her through a window to fall two storeys. Vera wakes up in a hospital; she has been in a coma for eight months. The doctor tells her she was pregnant when it happened. During her ultrasound, Vera sees a demonic face on the monitor and demands an immediate C-section.

Six years later, Vera visits her daughter, who has been adopted by another woman. Vera tells the girl that she knows who the little girl really is and demands to know why she was chosen. The girl flees. Vera chases her to an abandoned house in the woods and attempts to kill her. Unable to do so, Vera leaves, taking her daughter with her.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Plans to film At the Devil's Door were first announced in 2012 under the title Home, shortly after the release of McCarthy's 2012 directorial debut The Pact.[4] Filming was completed in January 2013.[5]

Reception[edit]

Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 24% of 17 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating was 5.7/10.[6] Writing in Variety, Dennis Harvey stopped short of recommending the film, but praised some aspects of it, stating, "Though disappointing content-wise, McCarthy’s sophomore feature still demonstrates admirable attention to things that usually suffer in more superficially flashy horror efforts, notably credible real-world backgrounding (the nondescript Southern California locations suggest a middle class slipping haplessly toward poverty), naturalistic perfs, and habit of favoring creepy restraint over “gotcha!” moments. (Still, the pic could have used one or two more of the latter.) Tech and design contributions are likewise thoughtful.".[7] Metacritic rated it 47/100.[8] Alan Scherstuhl wrote a similar review in Village Voice, writing, "McCarthy shows he's mastered the things we already know scare us onscreen; next, how about something we don't expect?"[9] Fearnet called At the Devil's Door "impressive work" and remarked that "it works as a slick and admirably unpredictable whole, and it somehow seems to work as three distinct chapters as well."[10] We Got This Covered gave a mixed review, stating that the film was "a bone-chilling ghost story that I'd absolutely love to recommend, but once again I struggled to keep a constant connection to Nicholas McCarthy's befuddling screenplay, packed with exciting ideas and bright moments of sheer terror – but nothing consistently worthwhile."[11] Best Horror Movie's review said, "When you incorporate three extremely powerful performances from three extremely attractive young ladies (Catalina Sandino Moreno as Leigh, Ashley Rickards as Hannah and Naya Rivera as Vera) you've got a very real recipe for success."[12] EFilmCritic.com praised the performances: "They're good enough to make the end more satisfying than it initially appears after things have sunken in a bit, even if the movie does occasionally seem to be setting up something a little more grandiose."[13] Sound on Sight wrote, "Supporting the scares is a strong cast".[14] Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Creepy atmospherics aren't enough to compensate for the muddled storyline."[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "IFC Dates 'At the Devil’s Door', Formerly 'Home' (Exclusive)". Bloody Disgusting. May 29, 2014. 
  2. ^ "SXSW 2014: First Home Stills Come Home". Dread Central. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  3. ^ Mack, Andrew. "SXSW 2014: Your First Look At Nicholas McCarthy's Horror Film HOME". Twitch Film. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Turek, Ryan. "The Pact’s Nicholas McCarthy to Direct Home". STYD. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "'The Pact' Director's Haunted 'Home' Completed". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "At The Devil's Door (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ "At the Devil's Door". Metacritic. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ Weinberg, Scott. "FEARNET Movie Review: 'Home'". Fearnet. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  11. ^ Donato, Matt. "Home Review". WGTC. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  12. ^ "At the Devil's Door (2014) Review". Best Horror Movies. 
  13. ^ "At the Devil's Door Review". EFilmCritic. 
  14. ^ "At the Devil's Door". Sound on Sight. 
  15. ^ Scheck, Frank (18 August 2014). "'At the Devil's Door': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 

External links[edit]