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Knocking on Death's Door (1999)

 -  Horror | Thriller  -  8 June 1999 (USA)
4.0
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Ratings: 4.0/10 from 194 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 3 critic

Two paranormal scientists attempt to document the spirits which reside at Hillside House. They track down the murderer of a little boy, whose ghost is still alive. What they don't realize ... See full summary »

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Title: Knocking on Death's Door (1999)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Brad Gallagher
Kimberly Rowe ...
Danielle Gallagher
...
Professor Ballard
...
Doc Hadley
Colm O'Maonlai ...
Young Doc Hadley
Caroline Rothwell ...
Bonnie Laurence
Stella Feehilly ...
Elizabeth
Freda Hand ...
Harriet Baker
Richard Farrell ...
Priest
Michael McCabe ...
Samuel Sr.
...
Samuel Jr.
Stuart Dunne ...
Judd
Brendan Costello ...
Fred Olson
...
Town Sheriff (as Bill Hickey)
Philip Sweeney ...
Patrol Man (as Phillip Sweeney)
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Storyline

Two paranormal scientists attempt to document the spirits which reside at Hillside House. They track down the murderer of a little boy, whose ghost is still alive. What they don't realize is that by discovering the murderer, they might be the next two humans to become ghosts. Written by Mike

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

No one can hear you scream. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and some strong sexuality | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

8 June 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aux portes de l'enfer  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Hickey's final film. See more »

Goofs

When Danielle opens the music book, even though the song is labeled "London Bridge", it is not, but something like a beginner's composition exercise. Danielle then plays "London Bridge" in C and the other player plays it in G. When they play together, the music sounds in C but the keys are being depressed for the key of G. See more »

Quotes

Brad Gallagher: You know, it seems like everyone in this town has been laid in this house.
See more »

Connections

References The Shining (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very tense parapsychological thriller.
22 March 2001 | by (woodbridge, VA) – See all my reviews

My wife and I stumbled across "Knocking on Death's Door" last night while flipping the channels, but we found it captivating enough that we stayed with the film right up to the closing credits. We missed the first few minutes, so some establishing facts and character development were probably lost, but the story goes like this. Brian Bloom and Kimberly Rowe play newlywed parapsychologists whom move into a well-known "haunted house". Various ghostly phenomena begins to occur, such as a piano playing "London Bridge is Falling Down" by itself (and it's NOT a player piano), chalk slowly scrapes on the basement floor to gradually reveal more and more information on the ghost's history, camera lenses ice over, and so on. The spectral activity becomes focused on the moments when the young couple make love, as if the ghost (or ghosts) have developed a crush on Rowe's character. What follows is a tense thriller with anything from fair and campy special effects at times to excellent and chilling visuals in others that will leave you at the edge of your seat. (Luckily for the viewer, there are much more of the latter than the former.)

David Carradine and Kimberly Rowe play their roles quite well, emoting an uneasy sleaziness (in the case of Carradine), or a gentle inquisitiveness (Rowe) that lend credibility to the storyline. Brian Bloom, playing Rowe's husband, and the recipient of much of the ghostly violence (he is thrown against a wall by unseen forces when he hugs his wife...) seems to be the weak link as the actors go. Sometimes Bloom appears disinterested, other times he seems to be somewhat "medicated", but that doesn't detract from the overall enjoyability of the film.

Also notable is the eroticism displayed early on. The intimate scene between Bloom and Rowe is playful and loving, and Rowe truly has a breathtakingly beautiful body. A later scene wherein the two newlyweds are in separate rooms and Rowe pleasures herself as she watches her husband disrobe on camera is at once lovely and wildly erotic.

I have a feeling that had this movie been released in the early to mid 80's, it probably would've become one of the early "Amityville Horror" sequels, but even without a movie franchise tie in, "Knocking on Death's Door" is clever horror with good twists and a tense atmosphere that slowly builds throughout the whole film. Strongly recommended.




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