THE DEVIL'S DOORWAY
Written by Martin Brennan, Aislinn Clarke and Michael B Jackson
Directed by Aislinn Clarke
Father Thomas has been investigating miracles on behalf of the Catholic Church for 25 years. He became a priest because he wanted to be a good man and get closer to God. But that didn't happen he explains to Father John, his camera operator, filming their investigation into reports that a statue of the Virgin Mary is bleeding from the eyes at a Magdalene Sisters home. What they find through witnessing the nun’s inhumane practices is that this is clearly no place of God.
Early on it's the same old script for Riley. He’s convinced it’s the work of a faker – it always is - and all he has to do is find the pregnant woman with Type O Negative blood living and it's case closed. His explosive confrontations with the wicked Mother Superior don't help, but they spur him on. She tells him that she’s doing the Church’s dirty work to help clean up the society's mess and ills. She asks him how many fathers are fathers to babies born here in one particular tongue-lashing.
Shot on 16mm Aislinn Clarke's 1960 set period film is found footage, but feels closer to watching a lost documentary archive than it is the headache inducing choppy editing that has blighted so much of this horror sub-genre. As a result THE DEVIL’S DOORWAY is a measured piece of cinema you can engage with through what Clarke chooses to share with the audience. She soundly critiques the real world horrors of the Catholic Church malpractices while simultaneously telling a dramatic and scary tale. The revelations of Riley’s own orphaned past bring to a head a fatal sense that what he is unearthing at this moment in his life is a meeting with his own destiny - putting to rest all his self-doubt and disappointments to date. He finds himself mentally, and literally lost in a web of deceit and cruel secrets locked behind the doors of the Magdalene Sister’s home. On the day the Pope is visiting Ireland it felt apt to be watching a horror film at Frightfest that attacks and undermines who and what he stands for in such a clever and exacting way.
Aislinn Clarke talks to Stuart Wright on the BritFlicks Podcast