HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Sweat
Quiet Place Part II, A
Nobody
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Mandibles
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Triggered
Claw
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
Hall
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Superhost
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
Shorta
Knocking
Bloodthirsty
When the Screaming Starts
Sweetie, You Won't Believe It
Lions Love
Demonic
Night Drive
Luca
Prospect
Toll, The
Last Bus, The
Purple Sea
   
 
Newest Articles
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
   
 
  Boy Behind the Door, The Cats Vs Mice
Year: 2020
Director: David Charbonier, Justin Powell
Stars: Lonnie Chavis, Ezra Dewey, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Scott Michael Foster, Micah Hauptman, Alfredo Tavares
Genre: Horror, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Six hours ago, two young friends were enjoying the summer in a field by the woods, practicing their baseball pitches, and fantasising about getting away from this small town and its surroundings, they could head off to California if they were old enough. But their lives are indeed about to dramatically change, and not for the better, for now they are trapped in the back of a car, kidnapped and driven to a remote house on the outskirts of the local oil refinery. Bobby (Lonnie Chavis) remains behind in the trunk, desperately trying to kick open the lid while Kevin (Ezra Dewey) is taken into the house to face unspeakable horror...

The directors don't feel the need to tell us precisely what was to happen to poor little Kevin, but they did not particularly need to, we had seen enough news reports on torture dungeons to fill in the terrible details ourselves. There is only one person who can save him, and that's Bobby who promptly escapes from his bondage to see about either raising the alarm or making a more proactive bid to rescue his best pal, so as this was a thriller with horror elements, it was a combination of the two that he chose, entering the imposing house and skulking around as if this was an escape room or similar game, only the stakes were raised high.

It was a mark of the solid filmmaking of writers and directors David Charbonier and Justin Powell that they included a selection of nasty details to keep the audience on edge, as if child abduction was not shocking enough as it was. Therefore a fingernail is broken off at the quick, a thumb is snipped off leaving it sticking in the bullet wound it was worrying at, but perhaps the most chilling scene had Bobby aghast at a collection of Polaroids taken of Kevin that night: we see his face reacting, but not much of the imagery in a careful indication of how confident the filmmakers were not to go too far. They went far enough to raise the pulse and our concern, of course.

There was, believe it or not, a cheering story behind this pair's debut feature, they had been friends since childhood and Chavis and Dewey were evidently chosen to resemble them as children, rendering this something like a horror picture as envisioned by two chiller-obsessed kids in a "what kind of project could we star in together?" sort of way. When they grew up, the directors moved into film production but had their hearts set on creating their own material, and after shorts, The Boy Behind the Door was very well-received; disturbingly, they even included the plot detail that Charbonier's plot proxy would be worth more than Powell's because of the colour of his skin. Again, for a story that was simplicity itself, this was very well worked out.

Indeed, it resembled a modern fairy tale in places, like a Hansel and Hansel, especially when the big bad is revealed to be a witch, or the modern equivalent of the fable villain, the sex offender. There was an urban myth quality about the narrative - did you hear what happened to the kid down the street?! - that was, after all, the new version of the fairy tale for our society to chew over, though we were never in any doubt that Bobby and Kevin were in dire danger. They are written to bumble through the perils as children would, not seeing what adults would regard as obvious, but on a steep learning curve all the same, and it was undoubtedly suspenseful, though there were times the filmmakers wore those influences a shade too blatantly on their sleeves - all right, we get it, you love The Shining. But if they had not quite found their own voice yet, there was enough strength in what they did provide to make for an economical hour and a half of tension. Music by Anton Sanko.

[THE BOY BEHIND THE DOOR - Premieres 29 July 2021 **A Shudder Original Film.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 214 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Jason Cook
Darren Jones
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: