- Directed and Co-Written by Aaron B. Koontz
- August 21, 2020
A group of outlaws on the run after a train robbery find themselves in a mysterious town.
The trailer for The Pale Door made it look really good. Kudos to whoever crafted it because they really sold me on seeing the movie. I went into viewing this with great excitement. However the actual execution of the concept leaves something to be desired.
Supernatural/Weird Westerns have a great deal of potential. In fact I think you can mix any two genres and come up with something really good. Cowboys & Aliens is something I think is a good combo. Cast A Deadly Spell is another. But it takes more than simply mixing two genres together. You need to execute your script well.
You do not need a large budget with the best special effects to pull it off. You just need decent acting and a story that gets the viewers invested in the fate of the characters. One problem with The Pale Door is it that there is very little if anything at all that separates each character. There are no real strong outstanding traits among them, and you can be forgiven if when a character references something that occurred earlier in the movie you are confused because you assumed it happened to another character.
The scene in the brothel when the witches attack (and you can be forgiven for not realizing these are witches) is a cool scene but there is no significant build up during the story to it. Things are just kind of odd until that point and you should be shocked when it occurs because there are people crawling around and leaping about. The thing is it feels a bit like you have seen this before. It is predictable.
For a horror film there were no scares to be found. Not a one. The Pale Door is about as frightening as an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or a segment from Sesame Street featuring The Count. You will not even be made a little uncomfortable by what you see. No nightmares or disturbing dreams after watching this dud.
I do not need a detailed explanation for everything I see in a movie. I just need enough info for my mind to come to a conclusion on what is not explained. This brings me to the young woman that gets the gang to the mysterious settlement.
The thing is I have no clue how the girl the gang found on the train came to be on the train other than she got captured. Was she somehow placed there by the witches or did the people on the train know about her and bring her there for some other reason? It is usually helpful to have a hint that your mind can play with and fill in the gaps.
This is my first encounter with anything released through Shudder. I hope their other offerings are better. I had gone into this with such high hopes and such anticipation and felt this film failed to come close to them.
The Pale Door is a good idea that fails to deliver. It lacks any real frights despite the potential being there for them. I will say you can skip this.