The Reel Review
Exorcism horror is the topic of this found footage film set in one of the Magdalene Laundries in 1960 Ireland, where young unwed mothers were sentenced to life sentences for supposed “loose morals.” The story unfolds as two priests, one of whom is experiencing a crisis of faith, are sent by the Vatican to investigate what at first appears to be a miracle – a statue of the Virgin Mary weeping blood – but turns out to be something sinister.
Co-writer/director Aislinn Clarke actually takes an interesting spin on the found footage genre, filming The Devil’s Doorway in the grainy, 16mm home movie perspective of the younger priest. The result is some pretty chilling moments and terrifying scares, set to a backdrop of moral rot and real life horror associated with the infamous Laundries.
Lalor Roddy (Game of Thrones) is particularly good as the jaded older priest, as is Helena Bereen (Don’t Leave Home) as the cantankerous Mother Superior. While a lot of the film’s jump scares and exorcism scenes are very predictable, they are well done. For fans of exorcism horror, The Devil’s Doorway is an entertaining one.
• With a modest budget of $300,000, The Devil’s Doorway has already generated more than $500,000 in revenue – a profit!
• Aislinn Clarke is the first woman from Northern Ireland to direct a horror film.
• From 1765 to 1997, the controversial Magdalene Laundries were where 30,000 young unwed mothers, prostitutes, orphans and mentally disabled women were sent to live and work in prison-like conditions.