Directed by Stephen Manuel
Starring Alex Wedekind and Rungano Nyoni (R level content)
2 stars (out of 4)
Before I start reviewing I want to point out how this guy looks like Robert De Niro.
I really wanted to like Iron Doors. I liked Cube, Saw, Buried and Dolan's Cadillac. Iron Door's borrows heavily from those films. Putting people in rooms with no chance of escape dates back a long time in cinema, Luis Bunuel was using this basic premise in The Exterminating Angel (1962).
Even though this is made with a formula that I like, it doesn't do enough to keep me stupid. Often times a sign of an intelligent film is it's ability to keep you stupid. Most films feature actions and situations that you would have to be an idiot to believe, but with good dialogue and acting we subconsciously allow ourselves to get caught up in the story. This film doesn't have that level of acting.
The plot is interesting. A man wakes up alone in what appears to be a bank vault. He doesn't remember how he got there and can't find anyway to escape. He has no water or food. What he does have is a blowtorch, a hammer and a chisel. Of course if you've seen this kind of movie before you know what to expect. Our hero makes his way through the wall only to end up in a room similar to the one he just left.
There is an African girl in the next room. She wakes up in a coffin and is in the same predicament. After some initial fear they form a bond, despite their language barrier. Together they survive for a few days off maggots and urine. There is also a dead rat with them but neither of them eat it, I suppose because they fear it carries disease.
The man woke up first and had been without nourishment longer than the girl. There is one point where he is near death. His hands have been injured, he's starving and bleeding. He himself admits he probably only has a few hours left. He has lost his ability to chisel his way out and he is too weak to walk. So of course its time for a sex scene. That's right folks, our guy can't get up on his feet, but off his feet he's still a machine. This was the scene that put it over the top for me. I tried to ignore all the piss drinking and maggot eating, but I can just not accept that a man could get a hard on when he's in that condition.
I won't ruin the ending for everyone. It's certainly the one thing that I didn't expect. It reminded me a bit of the ending of Cube 2, but I dare not say more.
I would recommend this to anyone who is a diehard fan of this tiny subgenre of film. Its not going to impress anyone, but at least it keeps your attention. At 80 minutes of runtime there's not much risk of wasting your day.