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The Entrance

Directed by Damon Vignale

Written by Damon Vignale

Starring Sarah Jane Redmond, Michael Eklund, Ron Sauve, Jerry Wasserman

Produced by Andrew Hamilton, Damon Vignale

Rated R

81 minutes

**

Here is an excellent way to test the old maxim about judging books by their cover. The Entrance carries some of the freakiest box art I’ve seen in a while—and you all know I see plenty of box art—but it will remain to be seen whether the movie can match up to the art.

It’s somewhat based on a true story—detailed in the opening minute of The Entrance is a renowned exorcist’s writing about a possessed nun back in 1612. I say “somewhat” because most of this will clearly have nothing to do with anything anybody wrote at the dawn of the seventeenth century. Like a bunch of criminals, psychopaths, and generally all-around sick puppies getting kidnapped and forced to play a series of games for their lives. Winners get to live—losers get sacrificed!

I do have some problems with The Entrance. One, that plotline sounds real familiar, don’t it? If that doesn’t sound at least vaguely like Saw to anyone else then I’ve got a screw loose. Two, in all honesty, it’s a little too quickly paced. A movie dealing with demons that make games should be a little more subtle, shouldn’t it? It probably should, but subtlety will not be a long point for The Entrance.

As to whether or not it’s any good, well…let me just say this. This is, quite possibly, the single weirdest Saw knockoff I’ve ever seen. When I saw a bunch of guys play Musical Chairs for their lives, competing against a drug dealer and a child molester, and the child molester loses and gets “taken away” by demons, a sequence that involves a lot of high-speed wobbling and what might have been screaming, I was just blown away.

Later, they played bingo.

Look, seriously…how many movies have you seen in your lifetime where bingo is a plot point? I can’t remember any, in all honesty. And I have to give The Entrance plenty of credit—they certainly engineered a doozy of a scenario, building up to a pretty damn good ending.

I can’t tell you much about the ending, sadly—to do so would spoiler like no tomorrow—but suffice it to say it’s not half bad. Granted, in retrospect it’s a smidge cliched but when you’re watching it it’ll be a pretty big surprise. A couple of them, even.

The special features include English and Spanish subtitles, along with a making-of featurette and trailers for The Entrance, The Eye, The Chair, Sight, Seance, Knock Knock, the 2007 After Dark Horrorfest and Fearnet. The freaky one, too, with the little psychokinetic girl with the thing jammed in her mouth.

All in all, while The Entrance definitely has its flaws, there will be more than a little to like about it, and should make for at least one good rental. This will be one of the rare cases where freaky box art will lead to freaky movie. Just an exception that proves the rule.

Steve Anderson is a film critic who collects action figures so he can dress them up as his favorite horror villains. He lives somewhere in the United States.


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