THE GATEHOUSE (2017) Reviews and overview

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‘There are monsters in the woods’
The Gatehouse is a 2017 British fantasy horror feature film written and directed by Martin Gooch (Death). The Gothic Manor production stars Scarlett Rayner, Simeon Willis and Linal Haft.

Jack is a struggling writer recovering from the death of his wife. His daughter, ten year-old Eternity, loves digging for treasure in the forest behind her house.

In a coincidental turn of fate, Jack agrees to undertake a writing project about the ‘legend of the black flowers’ at the same time that Eternity discovers a mysterious object in the woods. However, the forest wants the object back. Father and daughter have unlocked an ancient curse and must now fight for survival…

Incanta Media is releasing The Gatehouse on DVD in the UK on 1 October 2018.

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“A film that can quote Tennyson while paying homage to 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, all the while feeling like a quirky cousin to 2006’s marvelous Pan’s LabyrinthThe Gatehouse is a lovely offering that shows off the vast talents of its Writer/Director Gooch and its phenomenal cast. These woods are lovely, dark and deep…” Jeannie Blue, Cryptic Rock

“It’s hard not to recommend a film that includes the following dialogue – “Is that ectoplasm? No, it’s sick” – or one that features a Raiders of the Lost Ark reference, but despite some decent monster-under-the-bed myth making,The Gatehouse is a rather rusty effort.” Matt Rodgers, Flickering Myth

” …the narrative structure didn’t hang together coherently enough for a feature film, and would have worked much better episodically, (perhaps not surprisingly as the director has a background in TV). The Gatehouse would have been brilliant as a four-part Gothic horror series for kids, if it wasn’t for the fact that is was very morally ambiguous at times and displayed mildly gory horror.” Ren Zelen, Horror Talk

“I felt as if I were watching a 70’s Hammer movie. The titular gatehouse and the surrounding forest are both beautifully shot. Scarlett Rayner is a delight as 10-year-old Eternity. Her childish wonder combined with her unrelenting moxie, makes for a fun protagonist/lovable troublemaker […] Despite its constantly shifting tones, the film does offer some solid performances and frightening scenes…” Nick Holman, Nerdly

The Gatehouse is limited by its budget, yet Gooch squeezes the most he can out of it, with some solid direction and impressive visuals that fit well with the theme. He relies a bit too much on some standards with things like characters waking from a dream that finds themselves still in a dream over and over, not to mention false jump-scares galore, however, there is terrific chemistry between Willis and Rayner…” David Duprey, That Moment In

“Perhaps it’s just the fable setting I have issue with. I will admit that I’m generally not a fan of most things mythology. Those of you who are may be the fanbase of this movie. It is a beautifully shot film along a creepy English countryside. Scarlett Rayner is excellent as Eternity Winters and I absolutely love the practically done creature of the woods.” Without Your Head

Main cast:
Scarlett Rayner … Eternity Winters
Simeon Willis – The Rizen; Egomaniac; The Invisible Atomic Monsters from MarsStagknight
Linal Haft – Ripper StreetNightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King
Samantha White – The Rizen; The World’s End
Sarine Sofair – The Rizen 2Shortcuts to Hell: Volume 1
Hannah Waddingham
Melissa Knatchbull
Zara Plessard
Anda Berzina
Stephen Boxer
Andrew Caley
Tayo Elesin – Bloodshot
Paul Freeman – Hot Fuzz; Tales from the Crypt (TV series)
Martin Gooch
Taylor Parsons – The Rizen 2
Sakuntala Ramanee
Alix Wilton Regan – Zombie Diaries 2

Choice dialogue:
Publishing Agent: “We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.”

Filming locations:
Somerset, England


In the USA, The Gatehouse was released digitally on VOD by Uncork’d Entertainment on December 5, 2017.

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