The Cellar Door has left me feeling a bit sick. Maybe it's been a long day or maybe it's that I'm a little tired right now as I write this. But I feel it's neither reason. It may have something to do with the nauseating camerawork from the opening minutes of this movie that has done it.
The Cellar Door is what appears to be another run of the mill captivity flick. A bit of torture, some blood and violence and sick mind games. But I'll give The Cellar Door its' dues it does try to expand. There's some definite character developments at long last unlike all the other capture and torture movies of late. So it's refreshing in that sense.
But what really let's this movie down for me is the technical side. The editing and the sound in particular. I understand the limitations of a low-budget independent such as this but I have seen a lot better. It's cut after cut and more often than not a bit all over the place. And this coupled with the unusually overused hand-held style really does start to fry your brain after a while and not truly give focus to the tension and relationship's between capturer and victim.
It's typically predictable however. To capture, means eventually to become victim. There's not a great deal of movies out there brave enough to end with the psychotic becomming the victor. But then let's be honest do we really want to see that? And if so is it even morally just? So you're almost biding the time in which it takes the victim to attempt escape and, let's be honest, no-one is going to replicate the tension of such an escape like that attempted in Stephen King's adaptation of 'Misery (1990)'.
It ticks along nicely but I sat there honestly waiting for 'something' to happen. It's a lot of dialogue and minor action that even the performances couldn't really make particularly gripping nor terrifying.
Some might say I'm harsh with my rating. The truth is I could have edged this up to 3 stars but I'm sick of sitting on the fence with these kind of movies. No it's not a big lavish production so I shouldn't expect more than what I got. But even when compared to the 'bigger and better' I'm still not sure it holds a lot of horror weight. Technical aspects have let the movie down but it will be interesting to see what director Matt Zettell comes up with next. That said the haunting song in the end credits it's pretty damn sweet.