DECEMBER 8, 2009
Hello! I am hoping you have found this site, and this particular review, because you have never seen a horror movie in your life and were curious as to what all the hubbub was, and thus Googled “Horror Movie” and got me as the first hit. Well, if that is indeed the case, than I suggest that you watch the film Door Into Silence (Italian: Le Porte Del Silenzio) as your very first, because if you HAVE seen even one other horror movie in your life, even one without a single connection to this film, then you will instantly guess the plot twist and then be as bored as I was for the next 85 minutes.
Spoilers (as spoiler-ish as this can be at this point) ahead.
Yes, once again we have a Carnival Of Souls wannabe, with a main character who has been dead the entire time (from a car accident to boot). And since I figured it out about 3 minutes into the film, I let my mind wander, and I got to thinking: It’s a good thing I just took another look at The Sixth Sense, because I had a nice fresh comparison in my mind to identify the reason why that film worked whereas this one fails miserably. See, Sense and a few others that crib Souls’ signature twist (Room 6, and hell, even Campfire Tales) are written by folks smart enough to distract you away from the fact that the hero is dead. In Sense it was the character arc for Bruce to redeem himself by helping Cole after failing to help the Donnie Wahlberg character, and in Room 6 it was the “find the boyfriend” plot. But Silence offers no such distraction. The movie begins with a car crash (we don’t see who is driving or even what kind of car it is), and then we watch cinema’s longest funeral march before finally introducing our hero (John Savage) who is standing in the cemetery for no reason. "Gee, I wonder what his deal is."
The rest of the movie is just Savage driving around (it’s pretty much in real time), constantly being held up by narrow roads, raised bridges, and crossing trains. He also engages in at least two scenes where he is attempting to pass a hearse who keeps swerving back and forth to prevent him from doing so. Another quarter of the movie is devoted to him making phone calls or looking through phone books for addresses. Though, to the movie’s credit, he never tears out the page with the info he needs, like every other movie character. I always wanted to see a scene in a movie where a guy goes to a phone booth to get a number or address, and finds the page ripped out because the last guy took it for another name on the same page.
It’s no wonder that this H. Simon Kittay guy never made another mov- wait, WHAT? This was a Lucio Fulci movie?!?!?!
Yes, this is indeed from the same man who gave us The Beyond and Zombi (and it’s produced by Joe D’Amato, another guy who I didn’t think was CAPABLE of making a boring film). In fact, it’s Fulci’s last movie; he died a few years later, just before he was about to begin shooting his full blown return to big filmmaking (a Wax Museum update written by Dario Argento). As swan songs go, Door Into Silence falls somewhere in between Paul Newman’s voice in Cars and (apparently) Sean Connery’s turn in LXG. Granted it seems to be a TV movie, so it’s wrong to expect his trademark gore, but even the non-gore scenes of his other films are usually batshit enough to entertain on their own. There is nothing of the sort here (and it’s worth noting that Fulci wrote the script as well); the only real moment of entertainment in the entire movie is when Savage is inexplicably accosted by a hooker, so tries to ride him in the front seat of his car before getting a numb leg and accusing him of being impotent. She then storms off, and we follow her down the road until another guy picks her up. I almost thought the movie was about to change gears and become about her (it’s the only time in the movie we’re away from Savage), but they return to him as soon as the other car drives off.
The only other thing about the movie that left me with any sort of positive feeling is the fact that it’s largely silent. You’d expect Savage to talk to himself a lot, like in other “single person” movies (Roadgames obviously comes to mind), but he hardly utters a word, even during the car “chase” scenes (where you’d expect a few “Come on!” or “Dammit!” exclamations) he stays mute. It doesn’t help the movie’s lack of excitement any, but it’s still rare to see a modern film that is content to keep its mouth shut.
The DVD has no extras whatsoever, and it’s pretty poorly transferred to boot. In addition to an unusually flat image, it also has what appears to be an all-but transparent paper towel pattern over most of it. It’s sort of fitting given the low-grade quality of the film itself, but come on people, Fulci deserves better all around. Christ, John Savage deserves better all around.
What say you?