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The Cellar Door
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The Cellar Door (2007)

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Plot Summary:
"The girl next door, having coffee, lunch with a friend, shopping, unaware she is becoming an obsession. She has been chosen. A young woman awakes to find herself imprisoned in a serial killer's basement. She is not the first to be entrapped in this diabolical torture chamber. She is not the first to captivate his perverse affection, Herman has been searching for the perfect girl, but all he's collected are pieces - a chunk of hair; a severed finger; a jar of blood - and now, the alluring and beautiful Rudy. Imprisoned in a wooden cage and yet refusing to play along in his twisted game, she has only her wits to use against his savage and murderous insanity. Will she win the desperate, hallucinatory game of cat and mouse and escape through the Cellar Door, or die trying?"

Review by
Steven Davies
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Review Date: 08 January 2008 My Rating: out of 5


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.

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