PORTALS is a new Sci-Fi anthology by the filmmakers behind some very iconic horror and sci-fi movies. The concept is extremely fascinating but the execution doesn’t quite work for me. Read our Portals review here!
Portals is a new Sci-Fi anthology movie with lots of horror. I really love the concept and had quite high expectations which it wasn’t able to live up to. I did really enjoy the wrap-around story (most of it anyway), but the individual segments never quite managed to hit home for me.
The anthology segments and wrap-around are directed by filmmakers behind such iconic productions as The Blair Witch Project (1999), V/H/S/2 (2013), and the Skyline franchise.
Read more in our full Portals review below.
A good wrap-around with weaker segments
To me, Portals doesn’t manage to become the anthology it had the potential to be. The wrap-around story is interesting, but it does feel like it could have been even better. It does offer a lot more explanation about these portals that appears worldwide after a global black-out. However, not that much information is actually given.
The actors featured in the wrap-around story are Neil Hopkins (Lost) and Deanna Russo. The moment I saw Deanna Russo on the screen, the entire anthology became a lot more interesting. Especially because she always brings that extra something – and in Portals she comes across almost as a villain at first, but don’t let that fool you too much.
You might know Deanna Russo from The Ice Cream Truck. If you haven’t watched this horror-comedy mystery hybrid, then I highly recommend you check it out. Read our review of The Ice Cream Truck here >
The actual segments didn’t do much for me. I did enjoy the “911 Call center” segment, but once again, it doesn’t quite feel complete.
*minor SPOILER coming up* For the record, I absolutely loathe when someone comes out as gay and die immediately after. This is such a sick and harmful trope that is has a name: “Bury your gays”. Just please, forget about trying to be “inclusive” if you’re just going to kill us off immediately after letting the audience know a character is diverse.
An impressive collection of directors
The four directors behind Portals are made up of some impressive names for fans for cult-like horror and sci-fi movies.
We have The Blair Witch Project producer Gregg Hale and the director of the iconic horror mockumentary, Eduaro Sánchez. This alone is more than enough to get me intrigued. Also, I would say there is a certain Blair Witch-vibe to Portals since it does have some very mockumentary elements to it.
Besides working together on The Blair Witch Project, both Gregg Hale and Eduaro Sánchez also directed a segment of V/H/S/2. The same goes for the third Portals anthology director, Timo Tjahjanto. You might also know Timo Tjahjanto from the movies Macabre (2009), Headshot (2018), or The Night Comes for Us (2018).
Finally, the fourth director is Liam O’Donnell. He co-wrote Skyline (2010) and along with its two sequels Beyond Skylines (2017) and Skylines (currently in post-production). Along with writing and producing the Skyline franchise, he also directed the two sequels.
Do check out the Portals anthology
While Portals did not work for me as a whole, I could easily see this anthology turn into a cult phenomena. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if sequels are on the way. And yes, I would definitely be ready to check out any sequel to Portals.
As I’ve stated quite a few times, I love the concept of Portals. The very premise of these portals showing up and having an immediate attraction (and even communication) with some people, while others are standing back in fear, is fascinating to me.
I just never felt the story really came together for me. Also, be sure not to stop the movie once the credits start rolling. This sci-fi anthology is far from over at that point since it has an extra wrap-around story that continues after the initial credits for the various segments.
Portals is out in theaters and On Demand October 25, 2019.
Director: Gregg Hale, Liam O’Donnell, Eduardo Sánchez, Timo Tjahjanto
Cast: Deanna Russo, Ptolemy Slocum, Phet Mahathongdy, Neil Hopkins, Salvita Decorte, Natasha Gott, Gretchen Lodge
On August 5th 2020, an undisclosed research facility successfully creates the world’s first active black hole…Shortly after a cosmic disruption occurs triggering a series of world-wide blackouts; after which millions of mysterious, reality-altering, Portal-like anomalies appear everywhere and anywhere across the planet. While many flee from the sentient objects, the real terror sets in as people are drawn toward and into them.