The Pale Door (2020) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

The Pale Door (2020) Review

Horrorific content by adrian on January 13th, 2021 | Movie Review | Survival, Supernatural, Isolation, Witchcraft

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It's about some outlaws on the run who get stuck in a ghost town crawling with a coven of witches.

The Pale Door was directed by Aaron B. Koontz (who also directed Scare Package) and stars Pat Healy (from The Innkeepers, Carnage Park, Starry Eyes and Run), Devin Druid (from Cam), Natasha Bassett (from House By The Lake) and Zachary Knighton (from The Hitcher).

It was the perfect score, but hell was their reward.

The Pale Door Review

Damnit! I really, really wanted to like The Pale Door. I'm a big fan of western horror movies, a subgenre with unfortunately few titles. So when something new comes along I'm always first in line to see it. I watched The Wind which was good. The Dark and the Wicked was great. Bone Tomahawk was decent (slow start, strong finish). Ravenous was gnarly. The Burrowers was fun. The Pale Door sucked.

The concept behind The Pale Door had promise. You have some outlaw cowboys who rob a train expecting to find gold when instead they find a sweet young girl chained up in a chest with a Hannibal Lecter mask strapped to her face. One of the outlaws gets shot and the only way to get help is from some nearby mystery village the Hannibal girl is from. The village, of course, is not what it seems.

Everything works up to this point. And then they reveal the witches. The village is home to a coven of witches who are, well, literally witches. Not women into witchcraft, I'm talking real witches with long black hair and jacked up noses. Everything but the broomstick. I'm telling ya, nothing will pull you out of a movie faster than being a grown ass man watching Wizard of Oz witches running around for 90 minutes.

This poem from the title card was probably the coolest part of the entire movie:

"And travellers now within that valley,              
Through the red-litten windows, see            
Vast forms that move fantastically              
To a discordant melody;            
While, like a rapid ghastly river,              
Through the pale door,            
A hideous throng rush out forever,              
And laugh --but smile no more." - Edgar Allan Poe

Beyond the cartoonish witches, this movie does everything wrong. I'm straining myself right now trying to think of one quality this movie offered that could help make it watchable but I'm coming up empty. It's such a basic story that getting into any details would spoil it, so you'll just have to trust me on this one. If you like western horror movies as much as I do, do yourself a favor and watch any of them but this one. Hell, Tremors 4: The Legend Begins is better than The Pale Door, and that's saying something.

Worth Watching?

Hell no. The Pale Door blows.

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