Movie Review: Portals (2019)

October 21, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Scientists create an artificial black hole and the result are massive blackouts, missing persons, and some of those good ol’ fashioned cosmic anomalies that the youth of today dig on. Thus begins Portals; a new arcane anthology brought to us by  Eduardo Sanchez (The Blair Witch Project), Gregg Hale (V/H/S 2), Timo Tjahjanto (The Night Comes For Us), and Liam O’Donnell (Beyond Skyline).

In our wicked wrap-around, directed by O’Donnell, a family is sucked within a portal while traversing a desert road… more on that in a bit…

As the nightmare continues, black obelisks begin appearing, and folks start disappearing into them… reports of which begin overloading a 911 call center… and before you can say “So get up get, get get down” one of those eerie edifices appears in the center, and the office nutcase decides to communicate with it (always a shit-hot idea)… and he’s going to get his co-workers to step inside it’s midnight embrace come hell or high-water!

This first segment, directed by Sanchez and Hale, is visually slick, makes creative use of it’s budget (all the action takes place within one room), and is absolutely fraught with suspense and an eerie ambience… so far this bodes very well boils n’ ghouls…

Next we travel to Indonesia where two women experience the terror of encountering an obelisk in an underground parking facility. Let’s just say that outre object is working it’s own form of creepy crowd-control that leads to a spiral of shocking violence that none may survive!

While the first segment was more sci-fi thriller, this one, directed by Tjahjanto, is full-on horror biz; and it is truly excellent. Chock full of blood and scares this definitely kept my interest, and while thematically different, it fit into the over-reaching narrative perfectly.

Following that comes our third segment, which finishes the tale started in the wrap-around, as we learn the patriarch of the family has survived his ordeal with the now-familiar sinister structure, but he has emerged a changed man… but the fever dream has just begun!

This segment makes good on the whole Kubrick meets Lovecraft vibe this thing has been laying down in sinister spades, and is my favorite of the bunch… but believe me; every part of this picture is top-shelf material!

To sum t up; this is one of the strongest anthologies I have laid my eerie eyeballs on in a damn sight, and absolutely should not be missed by horror hounds and sci-fi freaks alike!

 

 

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