IFC Midnight has released the fresh trailer for their upcoming feature ‘The Devil’s Doorway,’ and I am delighted to say that it looks truly promising. I should also note that it doesn’t have anything to do with that western from 1950 (I know, I was surprised too! (sarcasm)), and on the same note, what is up with constantly recycling movie titles?! Anyway, let’s hit it off with this introduction…
My first impression during the trailer was: “OMG, another ‘The Exorcist’-wannabe…”, but as those two and a half minutes progressed, I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. I’m not a fan of the religious horror genre in general. It is too gloomy and serious for my unrefined taste I guess. However, I can’t deny quality and potential when I see it, and ‘The Devil’s Doorway’ seems to be covered on both of those fronts. On the other hand, since we’ve been bombarded with Hardy’s ‘The Nun’ lately, the overall effect of the trailer reminded me of it too, so I got bummed in the beginning. By the end of the trailer though, it turned out that ‘The Devil’s Doorway’ is also a found-footage horror, so that mashup of raw camera shots and religious horror should be interesting to see.
What we know so far is that ‘The Devil’s Doorway’ is a proud member of the exorcism-horror wave, and that the possessed one is, yet again, a woman (or multiple women). The mere fact that in most exorcism-movies the vessel for a demon is a woman’s body makes me wanna puke. Actually, any kind of constant walking in circles makes me nauseous, and that is what possessed women in horror movies are – an Alcatraz recreation yard workout. If we disregard the fact that the evil one has a woman’s face, this trailer brings some pretty decent vibes. It seems to have a historical background, as the plot takes place in one of the Irish Magdalene asylums. These “laundries” worked as penitentiaries for “fallen women.” “Fallen” stood for prostitutes, orphans, mentally disturbed and single pregnant women. Basically, those who we try to help as much as we can today. These institutions operated on rigorous regimes and, although they were trying to give the impression that they were helping, they were actually punishing these poor women. What is amazing is the fact that the last of these horror-houses was closed not so long ago, in 1996. It’s like trying to wrap your head around the fact that the slavery still exists in some countries. Sickening really. So, the only thing that these asylums are actually good for is to serve as a fertile ground for horror movie plots.
‘The Devil’s Doorway’ is a debut feature film of Aislinn Clarke, whose name you should definitely remember. Clarke is an awarded scriptwriter and director, and her love for horror is obvious. I strongly recommend all of her shorts, especially ‘Childer,’ which, in my humble opinion, deserves to be a feature film. Lalor Roddy plays the lead of a priest who is sent by the Vatican to investigate a miraculous event in an Irish Magdalene asylum. You might recognize him as the dude who tried to kill Bran Stark in the Game of Thrones series, but I’d like you more if you would recognize him from 2012’s horror-comedy masterpiece ‘Grabbers.’ The role of the sinister superior mother went to Helena Bereen, and judging by the trailer, she executed it remarkably.
‘The Devil’s Doorway’ will be coming to select theaters, VOD and through digital platforms in the US on July 13, and it will be screening at the Music Box Theater in Chicago on June 22.
In the end, check out the official synopsis for the film.
“What unholy terrors lurk behind the walls of a secretive Irish convent? Northern Ireland, 1960: Father Thomas Riley (Lalor Roddy) and Father John Thornton (Ciaran Flynn) are dispatched by the Vatican to investigate reports of a miracle—a statue of the Virgin Mary weeping blood—at a remote Catholic asylum for “immoral” women. Armed with 16mm film cameras to record their findings, the priests instead discover a depraved horror show of sadistic nuns, satanism, and demonic possession. Supernatural forces are at work here—but they are not the doing of God. Inspired by the infamous true histories of Magdalene Laundries—in which “fallen women” were held captive by the Irish Catholic Church—this found footage occult shocker is a chilling encounter with unspeakable evil.”