Stream to Scream: “ENTER NOWHERE”News Ken W. Hanley
As many fright fans already know, FANGORIA offers a great selection of gruesome movies, old and new, for free at our Hulu channel. To give you a better idea of what’s available, FANGORIA is taking in-depth looks at some of the channel’s terrifying titles with Stream to Scream. Today: Jack Heller’s twisty thriller ENTER NOWHERE.
There’s specific elements in ENTER NOWHERE that point at the potential for a derivative or predictable homage mash-up. With a small cast, a cabin in the woods and a dreamlike aura over the setting, more presumptuous viewers would let their preconceptions depreciate their expectations right off the bat. However, thanks to a clever script and engaging characters, ENTER NOWHERE dispels those expectations while unraveling an intriguing and spellbinding mystery.
Favoring atmosphere over cheap fright, ENTER NOWHERE starts off with a short robbery that suddenly transitions into a strange forest. Clouded in dreary mist, three people suddenly arrive at a lonesome cabin in the woods, no clue as to why they’re there or how they’ll make it home. However, the story starts diverting into creepy territory as they realize they might not be so strange after all.
While we’ve seen this before with revelations that the cast is in purgatory or all within someone’s mind, ENTER NOWHERE goes into a more complex direction, where the stakes lie in the consequences of their choices. Director Jack Heller makes the most out of the small cast and locations by never truly showing his hand, letting the natural charisma of the actors take precedence over compelling visuals. This isn’t to say the cinematography from Tom Harting is bland, as it’s rather sharp and oddly dreamlike, but it’s not nearly as engaging as the information conveyed from the impressive script. In fact, the script from Shawn Christensen and Jason Dolan is nothing short of fantastic, never investing too much on its twists while letting the nuanced human drama seep through the apparent horror.
As mentioned before, ENTER NOWHERE inspires some memorable performances from its small and talented cast. Katherine Waterston, Scott Eastwood and Sara Paxton all deliver phenomenally to their respective roles, grounding their performances in reality even when supernatural elements come into focus. The three do very well at handling their dialogue with just enough subtlety to maintain an aura of mystery while still appearing sympathetic. More importantly, their chemistry is magnetic, which makes the late-stage introduction of a great (and convincingly hostile) Shaun Sipos all the more concerning to the viewer.
Despite being light on visceral scares, ENTER NOWHERE is effective, eerie and engaging enough to warrant your attention. With an excellent cast and script in tow, Heller covers a lot of ground and does so while avoiding every trope you’d fear the story may fall into. By delivering intensity and mystery in equal doses, ENTER NOWHERE is not only suspenseful but immensely satisfying.