★★★1/2 out of ★★★★★
Directed by Niall Owens
A band of criminals comes face to face with their darkest fears in the somber, eerie supernatural horror Gateway.
A gang of lower-level criminals involved in drugs chooses the decidedly wrong house in which to grow marijuana to appease a pay-up-or-die boss in Irish slow-burn chiller Gateway. Writer/director Niall Owens has crafted a gripping, artistic supernatural horror film that rewards patient viewers with plenty of surprises and a highly impressive soundscape.
Mike (Timmy Creed) ist still suffering from the death of a loved one. His partners in crime are also troubled. Joe (Kevin Barry) is separated from his wife, who doesn’t want him to see their young daughter because of his heavy drinking. Eddie (Laurence Ubong Williams) is dealing with the recent death of his estranged father. Phil (Joe Lyons) is no prize, either. This ragtag group is under the aforementioned pressure to find a grow house and start making money fast. They find an abandoned place that seems perfect, but they wonder why junkies haven’t taken it over — and well they should wonder.
The house has the titular portal that causes the men to reflect on their crimes and misdeeds in a deadly manner. None of them are safe from its hallucinatory powers.
After a first act of drama in which viewers get to know the main characters and their problems quite intimately, Owens begins turning up the mystery and suspense to great effect. He is aided by a talented ensemble cast that gives believable performances. The not-so-secret weapon that Owens’ film holds is the superb, eerie sound design from Arron Faye, which must be heard to be believed. Tony Langlois’ score works in fitting tandem with the sound design. If you are catching Gateway at home rather than in a cinema, I highly recommend watching with headphones to capture everything from the subtle to the jarring. Dripping with sinister atmosphere and fine production values, Gateway is an intriguing watch.
Review by Joseph Perry
Dark Sky Films presents Gateway on digital platforms from July 15th, 2022.
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