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Director: Martin Gooch
Cast: Scarlett Rayner, Simeon Willis, Linal Haft
Production Company: Gothic Manor
Runtime: 97 minutes

Some movies maintain a very delicate balancing act. They seem to be able to juggle elements of horror, drama, and even comedy with the greatest of ease. The Gatehouse (2016) by director Martin Gooch is such a movie, and that makes it one you should see…

In the movie, Eternity (Scarlett Rayner) and her father Jack (Simeon Willis) live in a gatehouse outside an eerie forest. She spends most of her time digging for treasure, and soon comes across a strangely marked stone. Little does she know that the forest wants it back.

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The opening sequence is engaging and serves to draw the viewer into the movie. This sequence could easily be a stand-alone short film. It also perfectly sets up many of the themes and mysteries that will be encountered later in the narrative.

The film’s cast includes Simeon Willis from The Rizen (2007), Samantha White from The World’s End (2013), and Sarine Sofair from Shortcuts to Hell: Volume 1 (2013). Scarlett Rayner is wonderful in the role of Eternity Winter. This is her first film…

Linal Haft from After Death (2012) does a remarkable job as Algernon Sykes in this movie. He’s as creepy as they come, and has a gravelly voice that is hard to get out of your mind. His laugh was also really unnerving! I’d like to see him in more horror films.

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The movie’s plot is like a really good mash-up of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002). There’s a lot to like in this film, especially if you grew up on either of those previously mentioned and beloved franchises.

However, that is not to imply that this movie is for children. The film has some frightening scenes, foul language, bad behaviour, bloody violence, and even some gore that would keep it from being a family film. It’s meant for adults who still have nostalgic ties to their rich childhood.

Some of the best moments in the film come in the form of spooky dreams and false awakenings. There are plenty of them over the course of the movie. These nightmarish moments are always chilling, and often serve to forward the mysterious plot.

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There are a number of compelling perspective shots used in this movie. Sometimes the camera is even attached to the shaft of a shovel, or onto the barrel of a shotgun. There are a lot of memorable images taken from a bird’s or worm’s eye view too.

The Gatehouse is a delightful mix of supernatural horror and comedic moments. You’re more than welcome to pass through its doors…

– John Migliore

For more information on the film, check out the links below…

Official Trailer

IMDb Page

Martin Gooch Site

Lost Eye Films

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