Doors in Films

Doors are often featured in films, sometimes so much so that they become a key element of the film. I decided to draw up a small list of some of my favourite film scenes, where doors play a fundamental part in the plot.

Monsters, Inc.

The Pixar computer animated comedy Monsters, Inc. makes use of doors as portals to an alternative parallel city, inhabited by monsters. Closet doors are a key element of the structure of the film enabling the monsters to venture into children’s bedrooms to scare them and collect their screams, which in turn are used to power the monsters city. My favourite scene in the film is the door vault scene, a warehouse where the inactive doors are stored. This is one of the more elaborate sets, with fast, rollercoaster style action. Cleverly animated when the scene swaps through door portals between the large door warehouse and child’s small bedroom.

The Shining - Here's Johnny

The Shining – Here’s Johnny

The Shining

The 1980 horror film by Stanley Kubrick film contains a classic scene with Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) chopping through the four panel bathroom door with a fire axe. When he breaks through one of the panels he leers through the opening shouting the classic line “!” The scene has become such a classic it’s been parodied in shows such as The Simpsons – Treehouse of Horror V and on an advert for Premier Inn, featuring Lenny Henry.

Paranormal Activity

Paranormal Activity and its sequel Paranormal Activity 2 both feature doors as a key element to the plot. Moving doors, captured on CCTV alert the lead characters, Katie & Micah to the supernatural events going on in their home. The sequel, Paranormal Activity 2 uses the notion of a forbidden doorway to the cellar, which is the only door in the house that cannot be seen by the CCTV system. The directors use this doorway to build the tension in the film, and it’s only later in the film that the audience get to see through the door when a handheld camcorder is used.

I suspect that you’ll have your own favourite films featuring doors, there seems to be plenty of choice simply because doors are such an integral part of our daily lives.

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