THE BOY BEHIND THE DOOR (2020) Reviews and new Shudder clip

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The Boy Behind the Door is a 2020 American horror film about two boys that are kidnapped and taken to a strange house.

Written and directed by David Charbonier and Justin Powell, the Whitewater Films production stars Lonnie Chavis, Ezra Dewey, Kristin Bauer van Straten and Scott Michael Foster.

Shudder streamed the film in North America, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand on Thursday, July 29th. Blu-ray and DVD releases are scheduled for March 15th 2022.

A night of unimaginable terror awaits twelve-year-old, Bobby, and his best friend, Kevin, when they are abducted on their way home from school. Managing to escape his confines, Bobby navigates the dark halls, praying his presence goes unnoticed as he avoids his captor at every turn. Even worse is the arrival of another deranged stranger, whose mysterious arrangement with the kidnapper may spell certain doom for Kevin.

With no means of calling for help and miles of dark country in every direction, Bobby embarks on a rescue mission, determined to get himself and Kevin out alive… or die trying.

Our view:
For an independent first feature, The Boy Behind the Door is incredibly well shot and edited with wonderful performances from a cast of previously unknowns, especially the two boys.

Granted, there is much meandering about in corridors but there’s also suspense and tension that’s genuinely gripping. And kudos to the filmmakers for tackling a taboo subject matter. Turn off the lights, rack up the volume – the soundtrack and audio are sublime – and enjoy!

Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA

Other reviews:
“The characters in the movie are well written and will garner emotion from audiences. The Boy Behind the Door takes a common horror movie premise and puts a new spin on it. There have been plenty of films that have seen kids take on a villain. This one is much more grounded in reality, leading to a thriller filled with anxious moments.” AIPT

“There are a few holes in the story itself that appear primarily in the third act, but they are secondary when looking at the overall film and strength of the story, the power of the performances, and the beautiful and telling visual tonal bandwidth that brings it all together under a captivating cinematic umbrella. A more than impressive feature film debut for David Charbonier and Justin Powell…” Behind the Lens

“The filmmakers inject a few twists and surprises while making it abundantly clear that they’re unafraid to kill their darlings – or ruthlessly harm them- and nothing about their debut feels safe. It’s a taut white-knuckle thriller, made even bolder by the hero’s age […] Charbonier and Powell created one impressively ballsy debut…” Bloody Disgusting

“Overall, The Boy Behind the Door is phenomenal. Full stop. From the actors to the setting and the use of darkness both visually and thematically, this is a film to watch.” But Why Tho?

The Boy Behind the Door is a strong horror-thriller that’ll keep most people on the edge of their seats the entire 88 minutes. The way it gets into the social and political landscape of America today is not to go unnoticed or unappreciated.” Father Son Holy Gore

“Instead of using musical cues, the film is dead silent for large portions, accentuating every little floorboard creak and subtle movement. It works tremendously well and adds a hefty amount to the ever-increasing stakes of it all […] the non-stop suspense and strong performances from the central cast make The Boy Behind the Door an exciting, entertaining piece of cinema…” Film Pulse

With the Boy Behind the Door, Charbonier and Powell have crafted more than the proverbial calling-card first feature, instead confronting some persistently dark material with distinct skill and empathy, amplifying their commitment to the values of compassion and perseverance. It’s a sometimes grim journey that unflinchingly recognizes the more shocking inclinations of human nature, but refuses to give in to them.” The Hollywood Reporter

“Charbonier and Powell exhibit dazzling craftsmanship in their feature-length debut, from their stirring use of light and shadow to their realistic-sounding dialogue between the two young friends to their breathtaking timing with suspense. The Boy Behind the Door is must-see viewing for aficionados of horror and thriller films of all stripes.” Horror Fuel

“The use of shadows to set the tone makes even the most welcoming house seem terrifying, with spooky silhouettes and soft uplighting to highlight the darkness and claustrophobia of a small closet. The editing is effective too, with many tight close-ups to further stress the viewer out. It’s genius low-budget film production.” Screen Zealots

“Both Charbonier and Powell utilize impeccable pacing in delivering the peaks and valleys of their thrill ride. For the most part, the plot is a run-of-the-mill escape flick, but with a very youthful twist […] Simply, take my word for it, The Boy Behind the Door (despite this generic uninteresting title) is an absolute blast.” True View Reviews

“In its last half-hour, The Boy Behind the Door becomes incredibly taut as the boys have to deal with the arrival of Ms Burton (Kristin Bauer van Straten, True Blood, Paradise Cove), the leader of the trafficking operation. She relentlessly stalks Bobby through what seem like endless hallways, and in one jump worthy scene makes the audience recall The Shining. There’s also a couple of harrowing scenes, one involving a pair of snips and a finger, the other a shock collar.” Voices from the Balcony

Cast and characters:
Lonnie Chavis … Bobby
Ezra Dewey … Kevin
Kristin Bauer van Straten … Ms Burton
Scott Michael Foster … Officer Steward
Micah Hauptman … The Creep
Alfredo Tavares … Juan
Rich Ceraulo Ko
Anna B. Shaffer

Filming locations:
Los Angeles, California

Technical credits:
88 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1



MOVIES and MANIA rating:

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