A Gateway To Anthological Perception: Doors (2021) - Reviewed

images courtesy Epic Pictures

2021 finds one of its first anthology films in the new, lower budget science fiction project, Doors

When alien portals open all around the globe, human civilization is decimated as over half the population goes missing. Via mind control, inhabitants of earth are taken into the black void of the Doors as the dimensional visitors find ways to either kidnap or trick humans into entering the gateways. The streets are emptied, cities are vacated, and human experiments begin to question the arrival of the otherworldly phenomenon. As the strange and surreal looking doors begin to open, a series of stories take place with new and unique characters in each segment. 

Brought to life by Bloody Disgusting and Epic Pictures, the film features several vignettes from the team behind the V/H/S films. Their latest work further enhances the end of the world sub-genre with something that sidesteps their horror works. Coming to life with mostly low key acting and some beautiful looking visual effects, Doors features some heavy ideas that are pushed by a narrative that shows many sides of mankind's overtly mental response to the invasion. Some are driven insane, some want to seek answers, and others want to establish vocal contact with the beings. 

Heavily borrowing the thematic elements of 2018's Annihilation and 2016's Arrival, a mysterious alien force arrives on earth which opens gateways to another dimension. Communication becomes key to figuring out why they're here as human explorers try to enter the gateways at their own mortal risk. Interestingly enough, each chapter is absorbing and makes great use of a lack in expanded funding. The visual effects are not overbearing and the characters we find on screen each bring something dynamic to the film. 

Where Doors really steps it up is in the use of cinematography and sound design. Many things are implied through audio editing and excellent photography skills. Also to its merits, the costumes have a grounded feel that don't over complicate the sci-fi elements of the project. Instead of over arching, the set designs and visuals feel useful or based in the real world, instead of attempting to over do it. A lot of low budget indie sci-fi fails in this area. The production crew behind Doors used their limited resources to create a world that feels rooted in reality. 

This isn't going to be an award winner, but it's a good watch that features some compelling spins on the stories it's trying to tell. You'll find numerous nods or influences of dozens of far greater sci-fi efforts. But it's a worthwhile entry in a time when going to the cinema could hospitalize you. Take it for what it's worth. This science fiction entry won't change the world, but it will make you think a little bit.