While not action-packed, Doors has a visual punch that makes it worth seeing and was a beautiful atmospheric immersion into a world of sci-fi adventure and mystery. This anthology follows individuals on Earth in three chapters of different perspectives as they come face to face with mysterious alien doors (as well as complex emotions & cosmic theming) that pop up all over the planet.
Chapter one: “Lockdown” – Directed by Jeff Desom
If the Breakfast Club happened during an alien apocalypse, this would be it. Lockdown was a great setup for the film and within the first 10 minutes, I was hooked. The young cast in this film is believable and earnest. Special recognition goes to Kathy Kanh for her performance as Ash. Though her screentime is relatively brief, she makes the most of it by delivering a complex and stirring performance.
Many of the scenes in “Lockdown” (and throughout the film) have an ethereal dream-like quality to them (think the Upside Down in Stranger Things) and I was quite impressed with the atmospheric quality created for this film. That being said, I wasn’t too crazy about the constant cutaways displaying text as a sort of subtitle letting us know what the door was saying. I understand its function, I just didn’t find it to be effective and think there could have been a different way to feature the Door’s communication with the students.
Chapter two: “Knockers” – Directed by Saman Kesh
I really enjoyed the sound editing throughout Doors, but I especially enjoyed it in this chapter. So many complexities and layers put together seamlessly (tense music, eerie whispers, jarring sound effects, disorienting comms, etc). This chapter features the acting talents of Josh Peck (Drake & Josh) and Lina Esco (S.W.A.T.), and this duo delivers an entertaining performance as Door Knockers and romantic partners. There is delightful on-screen chemistry between the two.
This was my favorite chapter due to the tense storyline and beautiful imagery. Josh Peck explores a room inside the Door and it was cinematically striking but also visually unsettling. What was so eerie about this chapter is that things are normal… but not. There’s always something slightly off, and it is this seemingly normal setting with only one small deviation that the mind runs wild with all the possibilities as to why things are not as they appear. My only real gripe with this chapter is I wish it was longer so we could have further explored the relationship between Peck and Esco.
Chapter three: “Lamaj” – Directed by Dugan O’Neal
Well into the invasion of the Doors, it’s clear there has been a devastating result on mankind. One man, Jamal (Kyp Malone), has found a way to communicate with a Door he found. Jamal is excited by the discovery, but unprepared for the answers this cosmic consciousness has to offer. Chapter three boasts the performance talents of Wilson Bethel (Hart of Dixie) and Kyp Malone (Broad City). Malone was a perfect choice as Jamal and displays humble brilliance…well… brilliantly. “Lamaj” didn’t capture my attention like the others, but that’s mostly because I was hoping for an action sequence that never came to be.
Overall Doors is beautifully done. It has gorgeous effects, scenery, set pieces, and a well-rounded talented cast. For an alien invasion story the film lacks action, but what it lacks in action it makes up for with intrigue and mystery. Curious? Doors will open for audiences everywhere in select theaters on March 19 and on VOD platforms March 23. The film will also be made available on DVD and Blu-ray April 6.
6 out of 10