2 1/2 StarsIn The Open Door a group of teens are possessed and killed by an evil spirit evoked from wishes granted by a pirate radio station host. Angelica (Catherine Munden) is your everyday run of the mill high school student. After becoming BFF’s with in-crowder Staci (Sarah Christine Smith) she starts to rebel against her parents, who ground her after finding out she plans to attend a big after game party to hookup with football star Brad (Mike Dunay). Staci wants Angelica to sneak out and join the fun, and tries everything in her power to get her to come. Even making it seem like Angelica is missing her chance with Brad, which is no problem for Owen (Ryan Doom), the leader of the in-crowd, who wants Angelica all to himself. Angelica turns to a pirate radio station that only comes on during the full moon to voice her frustration with the current situation. With a little coaxing from the Oracle she makes several wishes. As the party winds down the in-crowd is alerted to the fact that Angelica is home alone, and Owen’s second in command, Spike (Daniel Booko), decides the group should visit her for a scare. Unfortunately for the unruly teenagers, Angelica’s wishes are about to be granted by an evil presence. Who will make it out alive?
The only reason I can see that this sat on the shelf for three years before release is its grainy shot on video look. Which is unfortunate as The Open Door isn’t that bad of a flick. Granted it doesn’t hold a candle to Hollywood’s standard horror fare, but there is a definite talent in director Doc Duhame, who also wrote the film. Duhame served as stuntman on many big-budget affairs such as Enemy of the State, Charlie’s Angels and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, so he knows his way around a set or two. It also explains how this movie was able to add a lot of production value through stunts, going so far as lighting a guy on fire. One of my many complaints about low-budget movies are the camera angles, here that’s not issue as the framing is perfect, although the bad cinematography-look does cheapen the affair.
Acting is fine all around, I liked Catherine Munden as the virginal and naive Angelica. Sarah Christine Smith plays a great snotty A-lister as Staci. Mike Dunay fits the good guy role of Brad well. Ryan Doom as the conniving Owen is great, and Daniel Booko as his energetic and slightly crazy number two is entertaining. The entire cast seemed to be having a great time with the movie, this especially comes through from Daniel Booko and Ryan Doom (with that last name he must play a lot of bad guys).
Overall I’d recommend giving this a try if you want something that’s not too scary, but still has some gore and production value. There is a little twist on the end and the pirate radio stuff is a neat concept.
Director: Doc Duhame
Stars: Catherine Munden, Sarah Christine Smith, Ryan Doom, Mike Dunay, Daniel Booko