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The Cellar Door
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The Cellar Door More at IMDbPro »

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21 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

A new level in total stupidity *spoilers*

1/10
Author: phantasmda from United Kingdom
27 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I really, really wanted to like this movie and for the first hour it wasn't that bad. Kind of a cheapo version of Captivity with some half decent acting. Then came the last 20 minutes, OH MY GOD!!! Who wrote this dross?? Christopher Nelson needs to be locked up and never allowed to pen another movie script ever again.

I lost track of the amount of times the two captured women had the Psycho down on the floor and then left him to get back up again to attack them, eventually killing one of them.

The two women have knives, bats and other weapons at their disposal each time they knock him to the ground but each time seem oblivious to the fact that if they don't finish him off, he'll get back up and come back after them. At one point, the main female has a huge rack of knives in her hands and knowing that the killer is still inside the house, she discards them and proceeds to wonder through the house with nothing to protect herself with, it's pathetic. Then her friend attacks him with another weapon, and leaves him helpless but still moving on the kitchen floor whilst she then discards the weapon and runs into the bathroom, where he races in and stabs her to death WHAT?????? I'm sorry but the woman deserves to die if she is going to be that stupid. All this film insinuates is that women are helpless and extremely thick whenever they are in a life and death situation such as the one they are in in this film.

How this movie has won awards is beyond me, it's absurd!

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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

A Rip-off of a Well-Known Storyline, but with Top-Notch Performances and Solid Screenplay

7/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
5 September 2008

In California, the psychopath Herman (James DuMont) stalks the young Rudy (Michelle Tomlinson) and her mate Christa (Heather Sconyers) along a day and a night and finally he chooses Rudy to be his next victim. He breaks in their house and uses ether to kidnap Rudy, bringing her to the basement of his house. When she awakes, she discovers that she is imprisoned in a wooden cage in a cellar and subjected to sick games of the deranged Herman. Rudy decides to play the game looking for a chance to escape from Herman's claw.

I do not know how many times I have seen the storyline of "The Cellar Door"; maybe the original version of this theme (a man that abducts a woman for his own pleasure) is William Wyler's masterpiece "The Collector", which has become extremely violent and sadistic as years go by. I recall recently watching at least the franchise "Saw", "Captivity", "Broken" and "Sportkill" that are rip-off of the classic storyline. However, I liked "The Cellar Door" because the writer Christopher Nelson and the director Matt Zettell were able to make an extremely low-budget theatrical movie supported by a solid screenplay and mostly by top-notch performances of the unknown James DuMont and Michelle Tomlinson. Their mouse-and-cat game is great and in the end it was worthwhile watching this simple but effective film that works perfectly on DVD. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "O Porão" ("The Cellar")

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

I don't get the stickycam film grade. Do you?

5/10
Author: trnjamesbond (trnjamesbond@aol.com) from Canada
5 July 2011

Now I understand this film was made some time ago but I just got around to watching it and reading IMDb for some insight, I loved all of your opinions and critiquing, it was very helpful, without people like you I would watch films and waste my money (most of the time).

But I finally watched this film after finding it on NETFlIX and my review goes as follows. Enjoy!

I really don't think this is a bad film, If your in the mood for a no brains, relaxing evening snuggled up ready to sink your teeth into a new cheesy slasher film.

But just one question. What is with the stickycam video quality? Are they just trying to imitate the shaky cam like in big budget action movies? I really don't understand. This film would of looked and been so much better if they would of just filmed it normal. Maybe with a little bit of floating atmospheric camera work still in it.

But with the sticky cam film quality I find this a little bit too much. Just make the damn movie without shaking the camera like your having a seizure, or don't make a film like this, like your watching a webcam through a 14.4bps dial up modem! When the hell did this kind of camera work become cool? It's not! It's so nauseating, I want to puke when I see it!

These stupid DP's these days, think that shaking the camera in an action scene like your having a sudden earthquake or seizure is so cool! They also think by doing this it adds intensity, fear,or excitement!

Well it don't all it does is make everyone think that they been drinking beer in the desert for 12 hrs!

Please no more shakycam or in this case it's younger brother sticky cam! Now I understand that the writers, and mainly the director wants us to feel what the characters in this film are feeling, but doing it through shakycam syndrome, or sticky digicam, well I've only seen one film where that works, and that was Saving Private Ryan, when this kind of camera work was first played with. They only used this in scenes with gun fire making impact, or a lot of explosions going off. This is the only time this style of filming works.

Don't use it for fight scenes, because you can't see who's hitting who, and don't use this style in your film, just because you think the director of photography is funny because he's been having a seizure for the last three months while filming.

There are many other ways to show emotions in a film. Whatever emotion that may be! Just ask David Lynch. He seems to create emotion through colour and just the score of the film. Do you ever see him shooting a film while he's in full on seizure mode! No you don't!

Thanks for reading.

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12 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Weak

2/10
Author: dschmeding from Germany
3 March 2008

I admit I kind of liked Broken for its atmosphere and cold feeling although it was going pretty much nowhere. I don't know why this movie is called Broken 2... except for the crazy guy kidnaps woman they don't have so much in common. This time the crazy guy is a pathetic loser who puts women in his cellar and cages them to have smalltalk with them and collect their feces. Obviously the movie tries to be smart and psychological with the caged woman and crazy guy interacting but at no point its getting any clear whats behind crazy guy Herman's acting. The script is once again a mess and covers stupidity on all levels... stupid victims running around with weapons just to get captured again after leaving them behind, 60 Minutes of pseudo-psychological boredom and then when the going gets tough the doorbell rings, the captive is kept in a cage for weeks and still got shiny bright white teeth... and the ending, oh my god.. crap ending, even crappier music. Its like the fourth movie in a row I saw that doesn't have a proper ending. The acting was OK but thats about it. This movie has no atmosphere, no suspense, no gore and a script like one big hole. Avoid.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Depressing, Dire, Fare

2/10
Author: gary-444 from United Kingdom
25 July 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is the Directorial debut for Matt Zettell, and Christopher Nelson's first screenplay- and it shows. There is a rich and honourable tradition of " captured women at the mercy of depraved men", but this does nothing to add to it. The premise is fine, and familiar. A loner pervert abducts young women for lewd purposes. But crucially, beyond that, Zettell loses his way.

It isn't a sexploitation movie. There is no overt sexual violence and hardly any nudity, so voyeurs will be disappointed. This isn't a standard "slash & splash" movie, the body count is too low. Nor is it a psychological thriller, the Direction and writing isn't good enough. The shame is that the two lead actors, abductor Herman, (James Dumont(, and abductee , Rudy, (Michelle Tomlinson), do a decent job with what they have, which isn't very much.

There are some decent scenes, the pre opening credits chase across a deserted storm drain is solid, the supermarket scenes where Herman buys self consciously for his captive well observed if under exploited, and the dispatch of some pesky Jehovas witnesses quite amusing. But overall it is a long 85 minutes.

The film's flaw is that Zettell does not know what to do with the story. The characterisation is weak, so we don't really bond with any of the characters. Herman's creepy and perverted desires are not played on enough, and the violence requires a level of suspension of disbelief in the final act which is laughable. This film really is not very good.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Interesting but not great and certainly nothing new.

4/10
Author: videozombi from United States
26 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I think this movie had a lot of potential but it lacks something, I can't really put my finger on what but there is just something that keeps the movie from being worthwhile. I think the problems lay mostly with the lead actress, she is simply not believable in her performance and I found myself feeling no sympathy for her character because of that.

The killer in this film is your typical American serial killer, a loner cut off from the world who appears very affable and non-threatening. Very much like a John Wayne Gacy, he seems pleasant enough at first but he hides a dark and sinister side. This is portrayed very well by James Dumont. His acting is good, his appearance suits the role perfectly and he is very capable of presenting the cold, emotionless side of his character. Unfortunately I can't say the same positive things for Michelle Tomlinson.

Her portrayal of the victim is very stiff. She doesn't convey the emotions of a person trapped and facing her impending death well at all. She never comes across as a sympathetic character nor did she ever give me the feeling that she was really afraid of what might happen to her. As an actress I think she simply lacks the depth for the role she was given.

The movie overall is not a bad one. The camera work is what you would expect from a low budget horror movie, looking like one of those softcore adult films on HBO. As I said though, I expected that and it really doesn't hurt the movie itself. The script is fairly good and the locations are well chosen. The best scene I think is one where the killer is shopping at the grocery store and a female clerk gets rude with him. He seems to brush it off but then a few moment later, we see the clerk getting off of work and heading out to her car. The killer steps up behind her with a baseball bat and proceeds to beat her to death, showing no remorse, sympathy or hesitation. For her one comment, the victim is murdered. I think that, if anything in the movie, really displays the psychopath in his truest form.

The special effects are not great but I found them forgivable since the movie itself managed to hold my interest right up until the end. The ending is what really blew it for me. There was a lot of potential to break from the serial killer movie mold and have a film where a cold heartless killer doesn't see justice. That unfortunately is not what happens. Rather than have an ending in which the killer succeeds in his deed and we are left to wonder "will he kill again? Will he get caught?" we are given a typical serial killer wrap up that comes across more like "I am women hear me roar".

Is the movie worth watching? Yes, if you can tolerate a typical, and at this point in my movie watching career I would say bad, ending. If you can tolerate the lead actresses stiff performance, there is a movie worth seeing buried beneath it. It is sad though to have to look at yet another movie with a load of potential pass away into the abyss. Kudos to James Dumont however, he carried this entire movie on his shoulders and did it well.

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12 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

nothing special

3/10
Author: shimyyuh from United States
1 February 2008

This movie was an all around regular film with your typical scenes that anger you for victims stupidity. It was a non-moving story that definitely does not get you thinking anything other then where is all the psychological drama the other critics say about the victim turning the tables on the predator. The actor who plays the predator does a good job at portraying a disturbed person but overall the script lacks any deep disturbing content. I watched this movie last night and wished that we hadn't wasted our precious time (while baby is sleeping) on this film. The 1st 10 minutes of the movie is the best, it's nothing special after that....

I plan not to recommend this to my family and friends, as well as obviously anyone looking to rent it. I was pretty much non-impressed with everything about this film.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

next time ill be careful before i rent the first movie i see

Author: jakelovesdmartel from United States
21 November 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

well this is my first review on here and i'm sad to say its going to be a warning. Do not see this movie. It tries quite hard to be smart and play with your mind, but it does not do it very well. Gore fans will be disappointed, and so will anyone else who is in the mood for a memorable flick. okay i lied, it is memorable, just not in a god way. Paying taxes is less painful then sitting through the duration of this film. The characters are extremely stupid. At one point they have an entire arsenal of weapons at their disposal, and still one of them manages to die. Avoid at all costs. Anything else is better worth your time then this.

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17 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

worst movie ever

1/10
Author: ryanmandy from United Kingdom
1 February 2008

i had high hopes before i watched this but when i did i thought it was one of the worst films ever made poor acting rubbish plot badly directed it was a plain shambles from the start,the guy who plays the weirdo serial killer is just not the right guy for the part whatsoever and it was seriously boring could not wait for it to end. there is a serious lack of quality releases these days and when rubbish like this is being put out then there is no hope for the film industry,these kinda films have all been done we need fresh ideas not low budget poor acted rubbish i think i have given this film egnough of a review now trust me don't watch it!!!

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Worst direction this century

2/10
Author: artpf from United States
3 November 2013

he girl next door, having coffee, lunch with a friend, shopping, unaware she is becoming an obsession. She has been chosen. A young woman awakes to find herself imprisoned in a serial killer's basement. She is not the first to be entrapped in this diabolical torture chamber. She is not the first to captivate his perverse affection, Herman has been searching for the perfect girl, but all he's collected are pieces - a chunk of hair; a severed finger; a jar of blood - and now, the alluring and beautiful Rudy. Imprisoned in a wooden cage and yet refusing to play along in his twisted game, she has only her wits to use against his savage and murderous insanity. Will she win the desperate, hallucinatory game of cat and mouse and escape through the Cellar Door, or die trying?

Whatever. The film actually opens with a bloody chick who escapes and runs through the streets but no one sees her. She gets recaptured and croaks.

There's one huge problem with this movie which could have easily been solved -- the director is incompetent. It appears as if the entire movie is films with an over shaky jumpy hand held camera. After about 30 seconds of watching the frames jump around, you want to throw up.

Did he think he was being creative? I think he didn't know what he was doing.

It's could have been a fun diversion in the hands of another filmmaker. Instead, 6 full stars are removed for sheer incompetence. Next time buy a $20 tri-pod. The chopping belongs in the story, not on the film, sherlock. Better yet. Give up. You suck.

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