Film Review: The Pale Door (2020)

  • Director: Aaron B. Koontz
  • Writer: Cameron Burns, Aaron B. Koontz, Keith Lansdale
  • Stars: Melora Walters, Zachary Knighton, Noah Segan, Natasha Bassett, Stan Shaw, Pat Healy,

Review

Western’s lend themselves to horror, the two genres mesh quite well. With such notable blends such Bone Tomahawk, The Wind and Dead Birds to name a few, it is clear that this genre mash not only works but still has plenty of scope to get creative within it. The Pale Door gets creative and it’s a pretty good time.

A gang of theives, have gotten word that there is something big, something valuable coming by train. The gang sets the trap and finds what they are after, a large chest. Inside that chest isn’t the gold they thought they’d find but a young girl (Bassett). The girl says that if they deliver her back to her town, that they’ll all be handsomely rewarded.

For ensemble films like this, it is difficult to get to really know all the characters, however The Pale Door does a decent job in making that happen. The dialogue is a bit hard boiled and occassionally cliche but you know what? That is fine by me. I think it adds to the Western feel of the film.

When the action starts and the gang find out that they are in danger, the film really picks up pace. The discovery of what they have walked into a coven of witches and the impending attack add a new dimension to the film. When the ambush attack happens, it is frenetic and bloody. The only issue with the films climax (and it is a strong one) is that between the attacks there are a few ‘moments’ between characters which slows the film down and derails the energy.

Koontz gives the film a real energy and comes up with some really creative shots, given the available budget. The cast are all great in their roles, bringing their A-game and their experience to help make these characters feel real. The Pale Door is fun but not perfect however I am very keen to see what Aaron B. Koontz’s does next!

The Pale Door is available now On-Demand, Digital and in some Cinemas.

Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78

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