Review of “The Gatehouse” by The Headless Critic
The Gatehouse - 2016
Production by: Lost Eye Films, Gothic Manor
Distribution by: Uncork’d Entertainment
Eternity is only 10 years old. She lives in a haunted Gatehouse at the edge of an ancient forest. Eternity likes to dig holes in the forest looking for buried treasure. Enterinty just found an ancient artifact that awakens the forest. Eternity can’t live forever…
The Gatehouse is a Once Upon A Time fable, set at the edge of an ancient English wood. This forest is the playground of a little girl named Eternity Winters (Scarlett Rayner). When Eternity unknowingly takes something that belongs to the forest, the forest wants it back. A creature arises from the woods and people go missing. The quest for a happily ever after ending is on and not everyone will make it there alive.
A lower budget English feature, delivered in Goosebumps fashion befitting a younger teen audience while still being enjoyable to adults. There are a few spots of budgeted CGI blood which is very disappointing since fake blood can easily be done practical. There’s also a minimal amount of voiceover work that’s noticeably added in. The story becomes somewhat incoherent, feeling like a thirty minute short stretched into a feature or an actual fable based story without enough source material to create a film. Several characters are disposable and I never quite got a grasp on Eternity’s father Jack (Simeon Willis) who is the lead. With a murderous backstory, plagued by nightmares, being out of work and borderline abusive to his child, he has a lot going on that doesn’t add much to the evolution of the film
Similarly confusing The Gatehouse combines a monster from a haunted forest with a ghostly haunting and a creepy old man with a shotgun who knows too much for unexplained reasons. Perhaps it’s just the fable setting I have issue with. I will admit that I’m generally not a fan of most things mythology. Those of you who are may be the fanbase of this movie. It is a beautifully shot film along a creepy English countryside. Scarlett Rayner is excellent as Enterity Winters and I absolutely love the practically done creature of the woods. The creepiest wood creature I can remember seeing on film.
2 out of 5 Headless Critics