Review: ‘The Pale Door’ is horror-western with a flair for the visual drama.

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After a botched train robbery, two brothers leading a gang of cowboys must survive the night in a ghost town inhabited by a coven of witches.

The title sequence for The Pale Door is simply stunning. The film begins with a flashback of tragedy. Flash forward to the “present” where our two surviving brothers and a ragtag band of outlaws decide to rob a train. What they find is a trunk filled with something very different than the gold they were anticipating. Proving “No good deed goes unpunished” the gang is lead to believe that they are receiving hospitality as a reward. Not so much for our fine gentlemen. All hell breaks loose when witches are involved.

Halfway through the film is when things really get cooking (pardon the pun when you view). When the underlying backstory of our youngest protagonist is finally revealed, the acting and the action really kick it into high gear. Bill Sage is the best shooter of the bunch, stylistically. He has an old west swagger that is perfect for this film. Stan Shaw‘s monologue is performed with veteran precision. Its impact and the scene that follows flips the script, literally. It is the driving force that makes the second half an entirely different film. And the gore ramps up from there. Bravo to the make-up team. The camera work is cool as hell. The purity of Devin Druid levels up The Pale Door from the freshman feeling first half. His emotional journey is intriguing and completely fitting. The sets leave a bit to be desired. Clearly in the newer and small backlot category, if I’m being nit-picky. When all is said and done, the film will undoubtedly entertain the Shudder viewer. Who doesn’t appreciate a good western horror with a great cast and phenomenal make-up? I don’t know either.


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