For what turned out to be his final project, Lucio Fulci opted for something different, a type of film that he really hadn't made before - a Rod Serling kind of tale of the journey of an American businessman in search of answers regarding his own existence. As this man drives through the Louisiana countryside he encounters a strange woman several times as well as a hearse with his name on the coffin. It doesn't take long before he realizes something is up and he frantically attempts to discover what it is.
John Savage is superb as the confused Melvin Devereux, likely the greatest performance of his career that I've seen. He doesn't overplay or underplay, and his reactions are seemingly entirely natural. The other actors and actresses in "Door To Silence" cannot compare to Savage but do very well nonetheless, while Fulci directs with a subtle fluidity and sense of reflective affection which had become increasingly rare for the master after his career really took off circa 1980.
This isn't a perfect film, there are a couple of slightly poor edits and several 'what the hell' parts (a motel stay for 15 minutes, a phone that rings before dialing, etc. - although these can be seen as being perfect for the unreality of Melvin's situation). The same camera problem that plagued "Demonia" also pops up in "Door To Silence" here and there, but not to the same extent nor to the film's detriment.
Sadly enough, I don't know if this final effort will ever be truly accepted. It's not generally of interest to Fulci's fans as it's not horror, and despite it's artistic cult appeal, Fulci is unknown to the art-house audience (if not outright vilified). It is really a shame that despite the high quality of "Door To Silence", Fulci's name was replaced with a fictional one for apparently some bizarre commercial reasons.
"Door To Silence" is a near-masterpiece and more than deserves to be seen, and now can be due to it's very welcome release on DVD by Severin. Check it out while you can, you won't be sorry.
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