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article imageReview: 'Gates of Darkness' is a compelling and edgy horror thriller Special

By Markos Papadatos     Aug 13, 2020 in Entertainment
"Gates of Darkness" is a gripping and intense thriller, directed by veteran filmmaker Don E. FauntLeRoy. Digital Journal has the scoop.
Tobin Bell stars as Monsignor Canell in a complex tale of deception and death, and Randy Shelly convincingly plays the role of troubled teen Stephen Tade, who also have a brave twin sister, Michelle (played by Mary Mouser).
Brandon Beemer delivers a dynamic and controlled performance as Father Dumal, who is the epitome of the saying "looks can be deceiving," while John Savage is terrifying as Joseph, and Lesley-Anne Down is sensational as Sister Clare.
Gates of Darkness takes place years after Stephen's father ran out on his family. Their mother, Emily (Alexandra Davies) remarried to Randy (Elimu Nelson), and Michelle (played by Mary Mouser) is adjusting well to her new stepfather and stepsister Alexa (Alisha Boe). Emmy winner Max Gail also makes a cameo as the doctor in movie.
Over the course of the horror film, Stephen becomes very isolated, rebellious and tormented by the events of his traumatic past. He starts to believe that their father never abandoned them, and wants to seek revenge for that wrongdoing. A climax in the movie is when his grandmother, Rosemary, who he was close with, commits suicide and that sheds lights into the dark secrets of the Catholic church community, and those secrets start to haunt him to the point where he becomes possessed.
If he is to survive, Stephen has to wrestle with the supernatural powers of darkness raging in his church, family, as well as his own body, mind and soul. He endures an exorcism with the goal of unlocking some of these disturbing secrets about his family. With Randy Shelly's eerie yet versatile performance as Stephen, the audience will be drenched in a wide spectrum of raw emotions.
What makes it even more compelling is that this mystery thriller was inspired by true events, and it ponders the questions as to whether a monsignor will be able to save or damn his soul?
The Verdict
Overall, Gates of Darkness is an impressive, well-written and well-acted thriller. Compliments to Don E. FauntLeRoy for his solid direction. While the entire cast is remarkable and talented in their own right, Tobin Bell, Randy Shelly, and Brandon Beemer will simply blow the viewers' minds.
Speaking of Beemer, it is refreshing to see him in a new and different role that is unlike his previous work in daytime and digital drama series, and Randy really captures the conscience of a crazed teen. Tobin Bell is a revelation as the disillusioned priest. Gates of Darkness garners four out of five stars, and it is available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
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