AT THE DEVILS DOOR
As witness the alternate title Home, the recurrent theme in Nicholas McCarthys films so far seems to be that of homes in which a placid and ordinary appearance houses the presence of dark forces hiding beneath its facade. At the outset, At the Devil's Door appears to be a film about a diabolic pact. However, this is not the usual deviltry story. What is happening is elliptical, vague McCarthy tantalises us with clues but also adopts a triple act structure that each follows a different girl into the house as they react with what happens. It eventually becomes apparent that what we are watching is a Satanic impregnation film although the clues about what is happening are so oblique that this is not something that is clear until the last quarter of the film.
At the Devil's Door is a slow burner. You have to go with Nicholas McCarthys slowness and cryptically withheld explanations. As you absorb into the film, things become increasingly eerie Catalina Sandino Moreno calling the previous owners to say that she has just seen their missing daughter only to be told that the police picked the daughter up two hours ago whereupon comes the spooky question of just who was in the house as the camera cuts away to a news clipping of the suicide; where the power goes off and there briefly appears, almost too indistinct to be certain, two red glowing dots that could be eyes in the dark behind her. From there, McCarthys visions become increasingly more unearthly and way out like where Catalina falls to the floor in convulsions after touching Ashley Rickards and, as she lies there, we see in the background Ashleys out of focus form appearing to split open and become a black figure. Or Naya Rivera having a dream vision of her sister floating in mid-air with her back arched. There are appearances of shadowy peripheral figures throughout with McCarthy getting another good start off when one of these appears behind Naya Rivera in the mirror. Im a jaded genre viewer when it comes to being able to be jumped but the film managed to get one helluva jolt out of me when Naya Rivera looks under the kitchen sink and a monster abruptly appears.
Nicholas McCarthy subsequently went on to make the Easter episode of the horror anthology Holidays (2016).