Return of 31 Days of Our Favorite Horror: At the Devil’s Door

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At the Devil’s Door (2014)  Dir. Nicholas McCarthy

This movie is flawed. Straight up, and I won’t even pretend that this movie doesn’t have its problems, but shit if I didn’t have a good time watching it. The main problems are with some overly dramatic stagings of trite tropes of the supernatural-possession genre. But I’ll first get into the movie a bit.

The movie literally starts with someone selling their soul to someone at a crossroads. Yeah, I’m not even kidding – and I love that this happens. The movie does some time jumps that aren’t at always clear, but after some close attention paid, they iron out just fine. From the point where a girl sells her soul and she is mysteriously molested by an unseen force, we see couple selling the home, and their realtor tries to get the sales going. However, the realtor is unable to sell the house as easily as she had hoped, and she tells her artist sister who lives in the city just how difficult her life is becoming as a result of the house. And it doesn’t help matters that she has seen a mysterious child running throughout the house at different times of the day. I’ll skip the spoilers and just tell you that shit gets weird after one of the sisters dies in a freak cell phone accident. Not a cell phone-related accident – an actual accident with a cell phone.

The ending was really fun for me, mainly because it plays with the rules of possession and reincarnation, and the surviving sister is rather ruthless in her pursuit of her sister’s killer. While there is that moment, there are others equally as fun, and one particularly disturbing segment shows every parent’s nightmare. This scene has the babysitter basically terrorizing the family she’s working for by taunting them about their baby. They race home to find what appears to be an empty home and no trace of their baby. No spoilers, but that babysitter is never seen again.

Now, while there were some really fun parts of this movie, there were also some dumb parts too. The main issue that I had was the problem with the sisters. They set up that they are basically orphaned, but they also have a sort of telepathy at times, but when it is literally a life and death situation, they lose that connection. I mean, it works, I guess, for the dramatic tension, but it seemed uneven. There were also some very trite jump scares that didn’t work for me as I could see them coming a mile away. And for the most part these are the only quibbles with the movie. Have some fun with this movie and accept its flaws. It just wants to be loved, so why don’t you love it?

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