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THE GATEHOUSE (2016)
Directed by Martin Gooch
Written by Martin Gooch
Starring Scarlett Rayner, Simeon Willis, Linal Haft, Samantha White, Vanessa Mayfield, Sarine Sofair, Melissa Knatchbull, Zara Plessard, Anda Berzina, Stephen Boxer, Andrew Caley, Tayo Elesin, Paul Freeman, Martin Gooch, Taylor Parsons, Philip Quinton, Sakuntala Ramanee, Alix Wilton Regan, Hannah Waddingham
Find out more about this film here
If you’re into the mixing of fantasy and horror, I think you’ll be surprised by Martin Gooch’s low budget, practical effects tale that dips into faerie lore, yet still manages to chill be bones every now and again. Still, it never forgets that the most important part of every good fairy tale is its heart.
Eternity Winter (Scarlett Rayner) is a young girl who loves to dig for treasure in the forest around her home. Her writer father, Jack (Simeon Willis) encourages her vibrant imagination, though is cursed by the death of his wife. When Eternity digs up a relic in the woods, she awakens a horned Forest God who wants his relic back and will kill anyone in his path. Holing up in their home with a creepy old dude and some others, Eternity is thrust into a battle between good and evil right on her doorstep.
The central portion of this film involving the love between a father and daughter is what makes with one work. This isn’t a Disney princess movie, but Mooch embraces some of those elements right down to the plucky heroine with a colorful name (Eternity Winter, just in case you forgot) and an over the top villain that looks equal part Malificent and LEGEND’s Darkness. Director/writer Gooch is able to capture the moody atmosphere of the forest around the house, hyping both fantastical and dark elements nicely.
While the effects and especially the costume of the Forest God are quite impressive, I feel that Gooch fails to capture all of it in a way that makes us forget about the small budget. It all looks decent, but the scope of THE GATEHOUSE seems to be a bit too far out of reach for what Mooch has to offer. That said, THE GATEHOUSE delivers on some better than average acting and a good solid chill and thrill tale that oozes with fantastical elements.
If you like what I said about The Gatehouse, help me out and watch it on Amazon here!