I am still unsure of what I was supposed to believe in or what I was to be convicted of by the end of Heaven’s Door. Even after watching many faith based movies and films designed to stir spiritual awareness, all I could make out from this movie was that somehow the main characters grandfather was God! No, not really. I soon realised that this was not the material point of the film, but my natural assumption should give you a good indication as to how many holes there are in the scriptwriting, editing and direction of this film. I am still trying to find the point.
The blurb on the back of the film DVD case reads:
Riley, a young girl in a small town, makes an unexpected discovery, a doorway to heaven, which leads to miraculous healing powers. She hides her gift at first as her parents struggle with a separation, and her mother continues to lose her faith. Riley is soon faced with the ultimate sacrifice…will it change her mother’s mind and bring the family back together again.
Without this description I probably would have been even more confused by the storyline. For the most part, I felt like everyone knew the whole script except me, every character seemed to be privy to all the information and there was no logical progression or transfer of information. It felt like the audience was almost expected to piece together information and figure out how scenes linked together. I really shouldn’t be working this hard to figure out what you are trying to say to me!
Unfortunately, with this kind of confusion the audience is bound to notice other things that would have been otherwise overlooked when watching other low budget films.
If you watch this film you will perhaps be able to answer some questions that I could not. Is the tree heaven? Why does her grandmother pop up everywhere? Was her brother mute? How could she find out her dog was dead and bury it within the 3 minutes her gran left her at the table to go out to speak to the tree?
I think this movie had every potential to be a semi-decent film. They had a good cinematographer, actors who had experience and even some comical moments within the script, but some sequencing of scenes make no sense. There are also some serious direction problems, poor and illogical location choices and grading of film that made one scene look like it was set in two different life times.
As many reviewers have said before me, I really tried to like this movie. I even watched it till the end. But they could have tried harder. They should have tried harder. They may have had a small budget but a skilled director can make a plan. If a storyline is good, if the film has a noble and clear point, the audience will forgive.