At the Devil's Door (Blu-ray) (2014)
Interviews-Crew-Writer / director Nicholas McCarthy (2:46)
Interviews-Cast-Naya Rivera (2:08)
Deleted Scenes-x 6 (11:37)
|Year Of Production||2014|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Nicholas McCarthy|
Catalina Sandino Moreno
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby TrueHD 5.1|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
†††† On a trip to California Hannah (Ashley Rickards) is persuaded to take part in a ďgameĒ and seemingly sell her soul to the devil. Back home in her room she is called by a mysterious voice and suffers a demonic possession. Some years later real estate agent Leigh (Catalina Sandino Moreno) inspects a house she has been asked to sell. We realise that this is the house where we saw Hannah being possessed. In the house Leigh sees a young girl in a red raincoat who quickly disappears. Leigh is told by the couple selling the house that it must have been their daughter who recently ran away from home, but when Leigh returns to the house another time she meets a girl we already know is Hannah. When Leigh learns that Hannah committed suicide in the house some years before, Leigh and her artist sister Vera (Naya Rivera) are drawn into a supernatural web from which there may be no escape.
†††† At the Devilís Door (aka Home, which is what appears on the filmís title card, although At the Devilís Door is used in the extras) is the second film by writer / director Nicholas McCarthy following The Pact (2012), another horror / mystery. At the Devilís Door is deliberately confusing, an art film with a disjointed narrative, sparse dialogue, the obscuring of information and a couple of red herrings, so that for some time it is hard to know what is really happening, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The film also takes some unexpected twists, plus some that are telegraphed, so that while it is certainly spooky, and delivers some shock moments, the film becomes more conventional as it goes along an is not as scary as it could be.
†††† Part of the reason is because At the Devilís Door is influenced by a number of other horror films, with uneven results. In a short extra feature on this Blu-ray McCarthy cites as influences Curse of the Demon and the 1922 Scandinavian documentary Haxan, but obvious influences would include Rosemaryís Baby (1968) and, especially with its image of a red raincoat, Donít Look Now (1973).
†††† For much of its running time At the Devilís Door is atmospheric and tense but it does not know if it wants to be about a haunted house, a demonic possession or even a psychological thriller, lifting ideas from better films and ending up a bit of a mashup.
†††† At the Devilís Door is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, the original ratio, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.
†††† Much of this film is very dark, with lights being blown or out so that in the spooky interior scenes it is sometimes difficult to see what is happening. This is deliberate I guess, with half seen figures in the gloom. Otherwise, in exteriors, colours are dull and muted except in the California scenes which have a yellow, washed out look. Indeed, in a number of scenes under lights the colour, and the skin tones, have a yellowish digital tinge. Blacks throughout are solid. Brightness and contrast are consistent except for some scenes with the light source is behind the actor which were glary.
†††† There was some evidence of digital noise reduction, but otherwise I did not notice any artefacts or marks.
†††† There are no subtitles.
†††† Audio is an English Dolby TrueHD 5.1.
†††† This audio was OK but did not really add the enveloping touches expected of a horror film, with things more heard than seen in the dark. The dialogue is clear and easy to hear. Most of the effects are front oriented, although the rears did add weather effects, such as rain and thunder, plus whispers and limited ambient effects. The audio did throw in some loud, unexpected music and effects to accentuate or induce scares. There were also some atonal noise effects to increase the tension to which the sub-woofer added bass.
†††† The orchestral and choral score by Ronen Landa was generally effective, although it did signal scares at times.
†††† There are no lip synchronisation issues.
|Surround Channel Use|
†††† The extras are three very short EPK type featurettes with some film and on set footage plus interview snippets, plus some deleted scenes.
†††† Writer / director Nicholas McCarthy on the genesis of the film.
†††† Naya Rivera on her character in the film.
†††† Nicholas McCarthy, Catalina Sandino Moreno and Ashley Rickards on the devil in films.
†††† Six scenes that are more extended scenes that deleted scenes. They are presented without text, but as before and after film footage is included we know where they fit. With completed sound and audio, they were obviously cut late in post-production. A couple make more obvious things that were not so specific in the finished film.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
†††† The US Region A Blu-ray of At the Devilís Door has the same technical specifications but has a different, and superior, set of extras. The deleted scenes are the same but the Region A adds a directorís commentary, a making of (18:04) and a film trailer (2:32) instead of the very short extras we get. There is no Region B UK version listed at this time.
††††At the Devilís Door is a horror film that is atmospheric and tense in places, although it is uneven as it draws upon a wide range of other, better, horror films. The reviewer on Blu-ray.com felt that the ďfilm is so lacking in suspense, so halting in its attempts to generate fear and ultimately so disappointing in its "reveals", that it's tempting to spoil everything to spare readers from sitting through itĒ which I feel is too harsh as there is certainly something here for horror fans to enjoy, including picking out the influences.
†††† The video and audio are adequate but our release misses out on the more extensive extras available in Region A, including a commentary.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S580, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|