REVIEW: ‘Door in the Woods’ Showed Promise But Failed To Deliver

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Door in the Woods

Halloween is only a few days away and as a horror fan, I could not be more excited. Before the month even began, I started looking for horror films to watch for such a monumental day. While some people may already have their film selection ready, it’s great to know that new films are being released just in time for such an occasion. One such film that horror fans can watch is Door in the Woods, which is directed by Billy Chase Goforth and produced by Rockhill Studios.

The film follows Redd (David Rees Snell) and Evelyn (Jennifer Pierce Mathus), a married couple who are struggling to raise their son Kane (John-Michael Fisher). The family moves to a new city and try to get accustomed to their new environment.  Evelyn is worried about this transition, so she calls Uriah (CJ Jones), a local medicine man to bless the house. Things prove to be even more difficult when Kane has been the subject of bullying at school, which concerns his parents. Trying to get him to open up, Redd and Evelyn take him out for a walk in the woods. As they’re walking, the notice an ominous door in the middle of the field. They decide to take it home after curiosity gets the best of them, completely unaware of the repercussions that their actions will create.

Door in the Woods

I was pleasantly surprised by the lengths the film took to create certain levels of horror. It’s always fantastic to see indie horror films implementing the effort to up the stakes in terms of how scary it can be. For instance, there’s a scene after the family has brought the door home where Evelyn is praying with Kane before saying goodnight. As they’re praying, a dark hand appears from the shadows, trying to get a hold of Evelyn. Growing up Catholic, and fearing the supernatural when I was younger, I found myself remembering how scared I was. The eerie feeling that combined the prayer with the hand’s movement is the kind of horror I’m looking for in horror films.

The overall premise of Door in the Woods is quite interesting and it’s one that I haven’t seen before in any other film. It’s a spin on films that deal with other dimensions while also dealing with supernatural forces. However, the story itself has been told too many times. There have been horror films and television shows in which a kid or group of kids are captured and their parents must risk everything to get them back. For instance, Stranger Things‘ first season focuses on getting Will Byers back home from the Upside Down. Door in the Woods has a similar plot, but it just focuses on the parents. That’s not to say that horror films shouldn’t follow a similar story, but adding factors that make it unique will surely make a greater impact on the film as a whole. Certain scenes felt very predictable, which disrupted any attention that I was paying to the film.

It’s still disappointing that horror films are still including the “Magical Person of Color” trope in films. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this trope, it falls under characters who are people of color that have particular insights or mystical powers that somehow perfectly correspond to the dilemma in the film. This trope often found in American films and other forms of fiction. The “Magical Person of Color” in Door in the Woods is Uriah, who is introduced very early on in the film. He plays a major role in the final act of the film, acting as the only person who had a chance at actually getting Kane back to his parents. I was excited to see a deaf actor in a horror film playing a death character, but I just wish he was given a better role.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the film, but the trailer showed such promise. However, it failed to deliver any sort of unique quality to the overall story. The scare factors and premise aren’t enough to fully carry the film forward. Had Door in the Woods taken a different approach that brought a more unique feeling, I would’ve enjoyed it a lot more. On top of that, the last act of the film took its story in a completely different direction. It’s an average film to watch during Halloween or any day for that matter, but don’t expect anything worthwhile.

Door in the Woods is available to watch on  DVD and digital.

Door in the Woods
  • 5/10
    Rating - 5/10


it failed to deliver any sort of unique quality to the overall story. The scare factors and premise aren’t enough to fully carry the film forward.

1 Comment on “REVIEW: ‘Door in the Woods’ Showed Promise But Failed To Deliver”

  1. Thanks for reviewing the movie. The movie cover looked intriguing to me but after reading your review I decided not to watch it. There are too many tired tropes out there and missing children is one of my least favorite ones.

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