The Pale Door(2020)(Review)[Weirdo Wednesdays]
A group of outlaws in the old West seek shelter in a seemingly uninhabited ghost town after a train robbery goes wrong. Seeking help for their wounded leader, they are surprised to stumble upon a welcoming brothel in the town’s square. But the beautiful women who greet them are actually a coven of witches with very sinister plans for them.
I had heard about this film for a few months before I got a chance to see it, so when it was available for streaming I was very excited. The film itself is pretty predictable – honestly playing out like an independent version of ‘From Dusk Til Dawn’ but with witches in place of the vampires. It starts strong and interesting and then comes to a dreadful stop at the halfway mark. The film would’ve benefited by cutting its length in half… but then it wouldn’t be a feature length film.
The outlaws feature a pair of brothers who we see in the beginning of the film share a family trauma that forces them to lose their parents. They grow apart over time but they’re still connected and care for each other, so they serve as our sentiments for the duration of the film. The other bandits are cool characters but they’re very stereotypical. Some like violence, some want the money, and some are just trying to help the people they’re indebted to.
When they rob the train they make out with just a large chest. And inside the chest is a young woman whose bound and gagged. She’s the one who leads them to the town full of witches and serves them practically on a platter. Inside the brothel, they’re all getting treated well until the claws start to burst from their flesh. The witches here are croons and they are very interesting – with a genuinely creepy finish of make up. The showdown is short but brutal.
But after this, we just kind of hang with the outlaws as they wait to be picked off by magic, hallucinations, and kidnappings. The witches have an agenda for the younger of the brother because he is a virgin with a pure heart. The production design is very well done – the costumes and the sets are realistic. The acting and the dialogue is well delivered. But the film just loses steam and the locomotive barely makes it to the station at the end.
It’s not a waste of time, but it’s nothing special. The team behind this movie though show promise and I’m happy to see what they do next.
‘The Pale Door’ is now streaming on Shudder.
‘Til Next Time, Mike Cleopatra