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GATEWAY (2021)

Directed and written by Niall Owens.
Starring Tim Creed, Kevin Barry, Laurence Ubong Williams, Fiona Hardy, Rosie O’Regan, Finbarr Stanton, Joe Lyons, Dafhyd Flynn, John Ryan Howard, Jimmy Smallhorne, Ryan McParland, Ian de Bri, George Hanover, Marcin Lewandowski, Martin Lucey, Stuart McGrainor
Find out more about this film here!

A group of low tier, Irish drug dealers are given one last chance to grow and move a large amount of weed by their superiors. One of them thinks they have the perfect house to do it in, but what they didn’t count on was that there would be a haunted gateway into the unknown in one of the upper rooms of the house.

GATEWAY is very, very slow. I have to toss that out right up front because if you’re the type who needs fast-paced thrills every two or three minutes in their horror, this might be one to skip. For those who pack their patience and don’t mind a movie bathing you with a thick feeling of dread and woe, GATEWAY is a thoroughly effective and unsettling horror film that’ll chill you to the core. People move slow in GATEWAY. They are ultra-serious and rarely have a moment of levity. Most of the cast simply stare off into space, lost in thought, thinking about the reasons why they need the money and how their lives are at stake if this score isn’t completed. These guys are so lost in their own mindscape and focused on their work that they don’t even notice the horrifying things going on around them. Reminiscent of SESSION 9, this is a serious descent into the darkest of madness.

The sights and sounds these guys encounter are as horrifying as they are mysterious. Though they are all scattered in the same house, they manage to lose track of one another. Making the house feel like a mysterious character all on its own. There are scenes that really defy logic, where these crooks can’t believe the chilling things going on around them. Yes, this would have been a much more realistic movie had they simply talked to one another about the scary things they’ve met, but that kind of takes away from the macho, crook mentality that is shared by this gang of rogues. There’s a scene where the lead crook Mike (played by a gaunt Tim Creed) watches a strange woman in black doing something with one of his dead companions and then the dead body gets up and walks away with her. It’s a chilling and downright bizarre scene that feels like you are watching something you shouldn’t, mostly because the scene is filmed with Mike peeking at the act from behind a cracked door. It’s uncannily personal scenes like this that are scattered throughout that are so impactful and give you a feeling that you baring witness to something utterly wrong.

The moments of silence and lingering camerawork make for a truly haunting experience in this tense and suspense laden Irish flick. The film is very well acted, though everyone is very serious and focused on what very well be their last job. The Irish dialects of the cast are very thick, which might be a challenge for some. But there’s an intensity GATEWAY that floats over every moment, right up the subtle, yet thunderous ending. GATEWAY is a brilliant and chilling little film that’ll sneak up on you and drive its talons deep.

Check out the trailer here!!