Sunday, March 24, 2013
The Attic Door
"The Attic Door" (2009) is psychological thriller starring Jake Johnson, Madison Davenport, Kay D'Arcy and Tom Fitzpatrick set in the 19th century American West.
Brother and sister Darrell and Caroline live on an isolated farm in Utah. There is nothing but desert, canyons and mountains as far as the eye can see. The parents left a note for the children saying they had to leave for a few days to go to the doctor to deliver their new brother or sister. They left instructions that they should not go far from the house because it is too dangerous and that Caroline is in charge. The viewer doesn't know how much time has elapsed since they left but from the worry we see in the children's faces, it appears to be a long time.
Caroline and Darrell do their best to run the farm and take care of themselves in this lonely and isolated setting. They spend their days doing chores, reading, going to the stream to get water and even playing a little like any other children their ages. At night though, there are sounds in the house and the children keep looking at the boarded up attic door with dread. There is something or someone in there and as time goes on, it gets closer to getting out. What secrets are behind the attic door?
From the very beginning of the film with its sweeping views of the grand landscape, you see just how small the house and children are compared to the natural setting around them. The scenes of the Utah landscape with a very haunting and lonely musical score adds to the loneliness the pervades the film. That loneliness also haunts the two children but their bond keeps them from getting lost in this landscape of solitude and loneliness. In addition to the loneliness the film is also filled with hope and perseverance. The film is not action packed but instead focuses on the lives of these children and builds to a surprising conclusion.