Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Don't Open the Door

(1975) **

Big city gal, Mandy, receives a phone call (on the world’s largest answering machine) from a woman claiming to be caring for her grandmother, who she has not seen in 13 years. The mysterious caller informs her that her grandmother is very sick and that Mandy should return to her hometown of Alerton, TX immediately. The caller concludes by saying, “Don’t tell anyone I phoned!”

"Let me just check my messages"

Through a montage we learn that Mandy’s mother was brutally stabbed to death while sleeping one night, which is why Mandy has never returned home. Arriving at her grandmother’s large mansion, she finds grandma bedridden and barely able to speak. Leaning in close Mandy hears her whisper, “Go away!”

"Someday I hope they invent a cordless phone!"

We are soon introduced to her grandmother’s doctor, attorney, and Claude, who runs a local doll museum. Mandy demands that her grandmother be taken to the hospital but the doctor emphatically states that this would go against her grandmother’s wishes. Meanwhile the attorney and Claude seem a bit too interested in her grandmother’s finances.

The attorney is just one of many unlikable characters in "Don't Open the Door"

Disgusted with all of them, Mandy throws them out and phones her doctor boyfriend, who agrees to travel to Alerton to have her grandmother taken to the hospital. Meanwhile the judge fails in his attempt to get Mandy to sign the house over to him and Claude creeps her out when she visits his doll store and finds a life-sized doll of her mother. Later Mandy starts receiving eerie phone calls from a whispering man who says things like, “Come closer to the phone so I can hear you breathe.” Soon someone begins murdering the denizens of Alerton.

Mandy spends the entire movie yelling at everyone, which renders her unlikable

Meandering and bloodless without any real suspense, Don’t Open the Door is a tiresome, tedious affair. The Mandy character is unsympathetic, which removes any emotional investment we might have with her and the killer is revealed fairly early on sapping the movie of any mystery.


Whirlygirl said...

Is this a made for TV?

Johnny Sweatpants said...

You could totally dedicate a Horrorthon to the theme of "Things Not To Do". Don't opend the door, don't go in the basement, don't answer the phone etc.

JPX said...

Some of those "Don't" movies were made by the same person. This was not a TV movie.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

I typed "Don't" in the Netflix search engine and the following horror movies came up:

Don’t Look Up
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
Don’t Torture a Duckling
Don’t Answer the Phone
Don’t Open the Door
Don’t Be Scared
Don’t Turn Around
Don’t Go In the House
Don’t Look in the Basement
Don’t Look in the Attic
Don’t Open Till Christmas
Don’t Open Your Eyes
Don’t Go Near the Park
Don’t Go in the Woods Alone
Don’t Deliver Us From Evil

Imagine having to follow all of those instructions for a day!

Catfreeek said...

That first picture is great!

AC said...

yet another example of the review being better and more entertaining than the film!

Octopunk said...

Well, JSP, some of them work together. If you can't open your eyes, you're not going to look in either the attic or the basement. Or up.

DCD said...

Does she wear that stupid hat the whole time too? That last picture of her makes it look like her jaw is unhinged or something. Hilarious review, JPX!

Johnny Sweatpants said...

You'd probably also have trouble finding the park with your eyes closed.

50PageMcGee said...

and "don't torture a duckling"? that's good advice for all occasions. ducklings will fuck a dude up.