‘The portal to Hell has been opened.’
Curtain – also known as The Gateway – is a 2015 American horror film directed by Jaron Henrie-McCrea from a screenplay co-written with Carys Edwards. The Jash Pictures production stars Danni Smith and Tim Lueke.
Danni has recently left her job as a hospice nurse in order to become an activist for Whale Savers, a conservation group. She also moves into a recently vacated apartment in order to get a new start on life.
However, soon after she gets settled she discovers that her shower curtains have been disappearing. Danni decides to try to record her bathroom overnight in order to discover what is going on, only to find that her shower curtains are disappearing into a strange portal in her shower wall.
She brings this up with one of her fellow activists, Tim, who eagerly suggests that she put her contact information on a curtain. This way, if someone finds the curtain the person can call Danni and they can discover the portal’s destination.
They are contacted by Willy, a drifter that tells them that her curtain appeared in a wooded creek near Poughkeepsie, New York. He volunteers to take them to the area he discovered the curtain, but shortly after arriving he begins huffing paint, bringing out a hostile alter ego named Frankie and attacking the two activists. They manage to escape the area, but as soon as they arrive back to Danni’s apartment they are confronted by the Pale Man…
“Curtain really is a great little treat of a film. It’s an unforgettable rollercoaster journey that has its own unique identity, but also manages to pay homage to ‘80s schlock. Without being too silly, it grounds its story in reality and uses the bizarre world behind the curtain as a metaphor for much more real, social problems.” Jessy Williams, Scream magazine
” …endlessly inventive and ambitious, blending the lo-fi creature effects (and 80s sensibilities) of Basket Case with the high-concept oddity of Being John Malkovich. Charming and weird enough to get away with its rough edges, it can along the way seem a bit meandering, especially in its focus on Tim’s Save the Whales fixation, but in the end every (narrative) hook on this Curtain fits neatly into place.” Anton Bitel, Sight & Sound
“Curtain isn’t a bad film, despite its oddness. Danni and Tim are great protagonists, and the humour works to add levity to the strangeness … despite its best efforts, doesn’t have the same staying power as more traditional (and some non-traditional) horror films, demanding the viewer’s full attention in order to tell its story.” Pat Torfe, Bloody Disgusting
“We’re not in full-on comedy horror territory, but it certainly skews more in that direction than it does elsewhere (although its Hellraiser type cult is particularly creepy). Well, it is a film about disappearing shower curtains, after all. With a title and concept like that, Curtain was always going to be one of the year’s most original horror films. Thankfully, it also turns out to be one of the best.” Joel Harley, Starburst magazine
There are also lots of introductions for seemingly minor or useless details, which end up coming back into play. As with any film, that’s always a tough thing to pull off … Curtain is clever, well-performed and touts some very cool monster make-up.” Michael Klug, Horrorfreak News
“Some might describe Curtain as quirky or eccentric. You’ll be able to appreciate that this was in fact what they were going for. This certainly wasn’t a lazy attempt at film making by director Jaron Henrie-McCrea, but it was not a successful one. Either avoid entirely or commit to losing 74 minutes of your life just for the super-odd ending alone.” Sadé Green, Flickering Myth
“It’s a very strong film, and due to it’s strange subject matter, very unique. There are some weaknesses, the creature effects later in the film are a bit rubbery. This is compensated for with the camera work which makes sure that the camera doesn’t linger too long on some of the less impressive monster features.” Christopher Stewart, UK Horror Scene
Cast and characters:
- Danni Smith as Danni
- Tim Lueke as Tim
- Martin Monahan as The Pale Man
- Rick Zahn as Uncle Gus
- Chuck McMahon as Bert
- Preston Lawrence as Preston the Super
- Gregory Konow as Willy
New York City, New York, USA
West Milford and Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, USA
Curtains had its world premiere in London on 31 August 2015 at the Film4 FrightFest.