Film Review: PORTAL (2019)

PORTAL ** USA 2019 Dir: Dean Alioto. 75 mins

A crew from the show Ghost Seekers are on the verge of being cancelled when ambitious host Steven (Ryan Merriman) and producer Cris (Jamie Tisdale) steal a location from a rival team. The Dalva house is a legit haunted house where a normal family man killed his entire family and then himself. So desperate to prove to everyone that real ghosts exist, Steven puts his whole crew at risk when he uncovers an ancient ritual he believes will allow them to talk to the spirits of the house. Unfortunately for him that is not what happens, instead he opens a portal which allows demons into their world possessing his friends and forcing him to make the ultimate sacrifice to restore order.

Director Alioto (Alien Abduction: The McPherson Tapes (1998)) switches between POV and normal filming with a tiny bit of found footage thrown in at the end. It’s pretty good but it’s all very standard stuff. It’s shot fairly well and doesn’t rely on shaky camera at all but it is quite gloomy. It doesn’t use a lot of jump scares either but tries to throw in a few subtle misdirections. It’s very well acted by all involved and you do feel a connection between them all. It even has a small role filled by Heather Langenkamp but it’s not her strongest moment, dialogue by the time she is on screen has deteriorated a fair bit. Her storyline and the final moments all seem a bit rushed through and the film loses momentum a third of the way in. There isn’t a lot of action or a great deal of entertainment value to this at all. Quite dialogue driven, although delivered well by the actors, doesn’t bring anything new or exciting to this movie at all. Predominantly CGI effects are a little too bold but the soundtrack and score is nicely balanced. It brings nothing new to the mix yet is a solid but tried and tested format well acted with a proficient cast.

Review by Sarah Budd


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