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“THE PALE DOOR” Hell, Fire & Damnation



Review by John Delia

Mixing the western genre with some horror and thrills seems like a good thing. In the film The Pale Door however, the genre mix is good, but the story loses its punch early on when you get to figure it all out. A bit predictable and clichéd, when the evil begins it’s more mindless than shocking. The sets look like From Dusk Till Dawn except that series had vampires instead of witches. If you haven’t seen Robert Rodriguez’s films or the TV series “From Dusk Till Dawn”, then by all means jump into the fray with The Pale Door.

Seeing their father and mother get murdered, young Jake Dalton (Devin Druid) gets taken under the wing of his older brother Duncan (Zachary Knighton). His brother, now a leader of a gang of train robbers, Jake gets a lesson in being part of the bunch.

Pat Healy as Wylie and Noah Segan as Truman in THE PALE DOOR photos courtesy of RLJE Films

Finding out that a train is carrying a trunk full of gold, they attack it killing the guards. When they open the trunk however, they are greeted by Pearl (Natasha Bassett), a teenage female. Thinking they wasted time they are about to kill Pearl, but she quickly tells Duncan that if the gang takes her home there will be a largely rewarded.

The gang agrees to the plan and they start out for Pearl’s home town. Director and co-scriptwriter Aaron B. Koontz sets up his film very well with an exciting train robbery then a trek to get the reward. He then arrives at the small town where they find Pearl lives in a brothel with her mom and many wanton women. The table is set for the horror that follows.

Devin Druid as Jake Dalton in THE PALE DOOR photos courtesy of RLJE Films

The production looks like the producers made a few bad choices for actors and crew as the lighting, sound and talent cannot provide the chills and fright that would have made it a winner. There’s plenty of blood to make it creepy, but even that doesn’t look very real or gory enough to offer some shock. The film drags somewhat during their long horse ride to the brothel and when they get there they find the Pilgrim townspeople are more into burning witches.

Natasha Bassett as Pearl in THE PALE DOOR photos courtesy of RLJE Films

The Pale Door has not been rated by the MPAA, but contains violence, grisly images, language and brief nudity.

FINAL ANAYSIS: A good storyline is not enough make it more than average (2.5 out of 5 stars)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Devin Druid, Zachary Knighton, Noah Segan , Stan Shaw, Pat Healy, Bill Sage and Melora Walters
Director and co-scriptwriter: Aaron B. Koontz
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Western
MPAA Rating: Not Rated, violence, grisly images, language, and brief nudity.
Running Time: 1 hr. 36 min.
Opening Date: August 21, 2020
Distributed by: RLJE Films
Released in: VOD, Digital, Select Theaters

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