Review

  • To me, personally, Lucio Fulci is (a) God. Regardless of what the haters may say, Fulci – the one and only Godfather of Gore – wrote & directed some of the most brilliantly entertaining, revolutionary and provocative horror movies ever made. He was one of the busiest men amongst the Italian cinema fanatics, with nearly 60 titles directed in a span of more or less 30 years. Almost typical for devoted directors, Lucio Fulci also didn't know when to stop, or just didn't want to stop. Perhaps it was best for him to retire after the insanely gory and brilliant (and semi-biographical) "Cat in the Brain" or even sooner, but Fulci didn't retire and made three more movies of which "Door into Silence" was his very last. This is a very atypical Fulci and – admittedly – far from his greatest work, but I'm nevertheless proud and content that I saw this obscure gem, in spite of all its little shortcomings.

    For his swan song Fulci returns to Louisiana, previously already the setting of his ultimate masterpiece "The Beyond". After visiting his father's grave at the cemetery, real estate agent Melvin Devereux attempts to get home to his wife, but road works, detours and engine trouble prevent him from doing so. His seemingly endless journey takes him further and deeper in the bayou, where Melvin repeatedly encounters a mysterious beauty and a sinister hearse that won't let him pass. Melvin becomes increasingly paranoid, especially when he suddenly suspects that the cadaver inside the hearse might be someone very dear to him. Who had thought that Lucio Fulci would end his rich and controversial career with a genuine attempt at an intelligent, supernaturally themed thriller? As a die-hard fan, I really wished that our director would have succeeded in astounding both his admirers and his opponents, but sadly this isn't the case. "Door into Silence" contains too many dull scenes of John Savage aimlessly driving around remote areas in his filthy Buick, with monotonous jazz music playing in the background and pointless encounters left and right. The denouement, predictable for attentive viewers, is similar to quite a few other classic and less classic films in the genre. Of course, I can't list the titles of these films as I would also reveal the whole twist ending by doing so. John Savage does his best to add mystery through his adequate performance and Fulci definitely picked out some of the nicest filming locations in all of Louisiana, but it just isn't enough. Like a few other reviewers already stated, "Door into Silence" would have been more effective as a short episode in a series like "Twilight Zone" or as a separate story in a horror anthology. Still, the fact that it's a final and gore-free Fulci effort with a handful of atmospheric moments, makes it worth a recommendation.