THE AISLE SEAT - by Mike McGranaghan
By coincidence, I saw Enter Nowhere - on DVD now from Lionsgate – less than 24 hours after seeing The Cabin in the Woods. This movie is also about a cabin in the woods where, as with all cinematic cabins in the woods, strange and mysterious things happen. Katherine Waterston (daughter of Sam) plays Samantha, a young pregnant woman wandering through an isolated forest in search of her missing husband, who went for help when their car broke down. She stumbles upon a ramshackle little cabin that is already inhabited by Tom (Scott Eastwood, son of Clint). He too has come upon the place after car troubles. Then a third person, Jody (Sara Paxton), arrives. She says her boyfriend threw her out of the car after a fight. The three realize something is dramatically wrong after it becomes clear that no matter which way they try to walk for help, they end up right back at the cabin. They also find themselves unable to agree on which state they're in. Investigating the odd nature of the cabin, they discover a startling secret that suggests they all have something in common, and were brought together for a reason.
One thing I really liked about Enter Nowhere is that it doesn't take the obvious path. There's no killer in the woods, and this is not the torture porn movie it looks like it's going to be initially. The horror is all psychological, as the characters try to figure out the otherworldly events going on around them. Watching them put the clues together proves to be kind of fun, and the eventual resolution has a nice “Twilight Zone” feel to it. The central mystery is compelling, as is the way it reveals itself to Samantha, Tom, and Jody. The cinematography is also terrific, providing a spooky atmosphere that serves the story well.
The movie has a few flaws that detract from its strengths, though. The performances from Waterston and Eastwood are sometimes a little stiff (Paxton, on the other hand, is quite good), and there are some special effects in the big finale that aren't especially convincing. Also, I think the story tips its hand too soon; I figured out what the characters had in common long before it was revealed, thanks to some clues that may as well have been lit by neon signs. Some of the potential suspense was lost because of this.
All things considered, Enter Nothing is a decent indie thriller. It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, yet it's ambitious and it held my attention with its pretzel-logic plot. The DVD comes with a 14-minute behind-the-scenes featurette and a trailer gallery.
( 1/2 out of four)
Enter Nowhere is rated R for language and brief violence. The running time is 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Buy a copy of my book, "Straight-Up Blatant: Musings From The Aisle Seat," on sale now at Lulu.com! Paperback and Kindle versions also available at Amazon.com!