Real estate agent Leigh (Catalina Sandino Moreno – Red Band Society, Maria Full of Grace) is asked to quickly sell a house for a couple with financial problems. In the house, Leigh encounters a disturbed girl who she believes to be the sellers’ daughter. When Leigh lands in some trouble, her sister Vera (Naya Rivera – Glee) gets involved, putting her right in the middle of a supernatural problem.
The story starts out with Hannah (Ashley Rickards – MTV’s Awkward), a teenage girl talked into playing a game in a trailer in the desert of California. Winning this game gives her $500 but, in return, she must give her soul to the devil. Soon, she starts to be haunted by a sinister being. Every attempt to destroy the money fails as it just keeps reappearing. Soon, Hannah finds that she is pregnant, despite being a virgin, and kills herself.
Years later, Leigh is contacted by a couple who needs her to sell a property on the fly. On multiple occasions, Leigh runs into Hannah on the property and, assuming she is the sellers’ missing daughter, Charlene (Olivia Crocicchia), she asks Hannah to stay. She contacts her sister Vera, whom she is late to meet, letting her know what is happening and then contacts the girl’s parents. Upon learning that Charlene is safe and with her family, Leigh confronts Hannah and is attacked by the beast within her.
In an attempt to learn what has happened to her sister, Vera, digs around and does a little research. Like Hannah and her sister, Leigh, Vera is attacked by the beast. After waking up from an eight month coma, Vera finds that, like Hannah, she is pregnant and whatever is inside her, isn’t human.
At the Devil’s Door has some good points and some bad ones. On the positive side, the story line was creative. Sure, Devil possession films are a dime a dozen but I appreciate that it wasn’t some satanic cult or Ouija board that brought it all on. Someone sold their soul and didn’t hold up their end of the bargain.
The scares were plentiful and more than just simple jump scares, which is something I always try to give credit for. You know the scary parts are coming but they give you just enough time to get nervous before something pops out at you. I also found Hannah’s deep voiced whispers to be pretty scary on their own.
In terms of the negative, I don’t like that they made Naya Rivera’s character, Vera, to be completely void of emotion. Her sister dies and there isn’t a tear shed. In fact, she doesn’t appear surprised, upset or any other emotion other than completely blank. I have watched Glee and seen Naya cry with spotless perfection but they didn’t use a second of her talent. Naya is a great actress with capabilities that I believe the director ignored and they did not only her but the viewers an injustice by making her an emotional robot.
In the end, the pros outweigh the cons making At the Devil’s Door a fun and frightening film for any horror fan or scaredy cat alike.
At the Devil’s Door is now available on Blu-ray from IFC Midnight.
Ann Hale is the horror editor for Pop-Break.com and a senior contributing writer, reviewing horror movies and television shows. She is also the American Correspondent for Lovehorror.co.uk. Ann attended East Carolina University, majoring in English Literature. She is a collector of Halloween (the film) memorabilia and is a self-admitted opinionated horror nerd. You can follow her, her collection and her cat, Edward Kittyhands on Twitter and Instagram @Scarletjupiter