Official Selection, SXSW 2014
"I was hunched down in my seat, completely filled with dread... McCarthy tells his gripping tale with an ease I’m certain I’ve never seen in movies… This is stellar filmmaking" – Daniel Tucker, NEXT PROJECTION
"Intelligent horror storytelling… Very impressive" – Scott Weinberg, FEAR.NET
"Among the standouts from SXSW" - Jason Whyte, EFILMCRITIC.COM
A young real estate agent (Catalina Sandino Moreno) is asked to sell a house with a uniquely diabolical history involving a bought Satanic pact. Over the course of her work, she runs into the emotionally unstable daughter (Ashley Rickards) of the couple who’ve listed the home on the market, jumpstarting a frightening journey through a supernatural rabbit hole that will have your skin crawling straight off your bones. So much of this film’s power depends on how little you know going in — this is a tale that jumps decades and narrative paths in a clever way like few do — so we’re not going to reveal another word about the plot. Just know to be expecting something absolutely terrifying infused with the dreamy, slow-burn irrationality of a waking nightmare.
Writer/director Nicholas McCarthy froze a whole lot of blood with his eerie 2012 feature debut THE PACT. His sophomore film, AT THE DEVIL’S DOOR (formerly titled HOME), sees the gifted filmmaker working with a confidence and daring that is nothing short of otherworldly. Juggling mood-drenched atmospheric dread and visceral bursts of grisly, balls-to-the-wall horror, McCarthy takes all kinds of exciting storytelling risks, and they pay off beautifully, his narrative jumping timelines, shifting character focuses and balancing tones like a sinister acrobatic act. This is ferociously intelligent genre cinema, brilliantly structured and effective to demonic degrees. Reteaming with cinematographer Bridger Nielson, McCarthy has also made one of the most visually compelling horror works of the year, its creeping widescreen images making startling use of shadows and spaces. Open areas — be they on an empty stretch of road or in the centre of a bedroom — have never been scarier. And do things ever get ghastly. Produced by Sonny Mallhi (THE STRANGERS) and staring Catalina Sandino Moreno (MAGIC MAGIC), Naya Rivera (GLEE), Ashley Rickards (AWKWARD), Wyatt Russell (WE ARE WHAT WE ARE), Ava Acres (EVERMORE) and Tara Buck (TRUE BLOOD), AT THE DEVIL’S DOOR stands horrifically as further proof that Nicholas McCarthy ranks among the most inspired and original new genre talents on today’s scene. We bet you won’t be okay with turning the lights off when you go home afterwards.
— Mitch Davis