THE PALE DOOR is a new Horror Western that really didn’t work for me. In fact, it was a regular snooze fest. Even the many interesting actors couldn’t keep me interested. Simply a shame. Read our full The Pale Door review here!

THE PALE DOOR is a new Horror Western that really didn’t do much for either genre. The horror for me was that it was downright boring while the Western part was more about scenery and cowboy outfits.

Ultimately, it felt more like a movie about witches that could have been set in New England and features church-goers instead of cowboys.

It’s a damn shame since it featured a wonderful cast. Full of actors I usually seek out movies with. Oh well, you can’t win every time. Continue reading our The Pale Door review below.

A downright snooze fest

We are very rarely negative here at Heaven of Horror. I always try to find something positive in anything I watch. For The Pale Door, I can only really talk about the great cast.

Were they great in this movie? Well, they weren’t bad or anything but the story did nothing for me. That’s why it did end up becoming a regular snooze fest for me. Even though it doesn’t have a long runtime or anything. It’s around an hour and a half which is usually a real sweet-spot for me in terms of runtime.

It just feels like a watered-down western version of From Dusk Till Dawn.

I have no doubt that The Pale Door will find its audience somewhere out there. I’m just not part of that group. And that’s probably the most positive thing I can say about this horror western as a whole.

Also, all the main characters are men who are essentially criminals. Good ol’ gunslinging bank robbers. In fact, it seems like you’re sort of supposed to be on the side of the cowboys. I, for one, am not!

The women are (of course) witches and/or whores at a brothel. Yeah, not exactly the best premise to begin with. Not for this gal, anyway! Oh, wait, one person in the gang of merry bank robbers is actually a woman. However, when you see her fate, you’ll know why this isn’t exactly a huge plus.

The Pale Door Horror Review

The cast of this horror western

Since the cast is a reason to watch The Pale Door, I should mention who is in this movie. We have the wonderful Noah Segan, who has starred in several movies we’ve reviewed (and usually loved) here at Heaven of Horror. He’s starred in movies such as Follow (2015) and the amazing Deadgirl (2008).

Another favorite of mine is Pat Healy, who can do no wrong really. I first remember really noticing him in Cheap Thrills (2013). That is the kind of movie (and performance) that stays with you. Also, he was in The Innkeepers (2011) and quite recently in the star-studded Velvet Buzzsaw (2019).

James Landry Hébert is also in this movie and you should definitely recognize his face as well. He’s been in movies such as J.J. Abrams’ Super 8 (2011) and Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019). As for TV series, he’s been in both Stranger Things and Westworld. So, yeah, some of the biggest shows around.

Especially Pat Healy, Noah Segan, and James Landry Hébert are given way too little to work with.

Also in the cast is Zachary Knighton who you might recognize from movies such as The Hitcher (2007) and more recently Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix. Finally, I should mention Stan Shaw, who will always be Big George in Fried Green Tomatoes for me. He was also in iconic genre movies like Runaway (1984) and The Monster Squad (1987).

Watch The Pale Door On Demand now and Shudder later!

Aaron B. Koontz is the director and co-writer of The Pale Door. He has been a producer on some indie movies such as Starry Eyes (2014) and Camera Obscura (2017). He also directed the latter, while the first is a true gem and both co-starred Noah Segan.

You might like: Our review of Aaron B. Koontz previous horror movie Camera Obscura here >

With this in mind, my expectations turned out to be completely askew for this horror western.

The script for this new movie was co-written by Cameron Burns (who also did Camera Obscura) and Keith Lansdale. For Keith Landsdale, this is his second feature film script after he did Christmas with the Dead in 2012. Also, he wrote a short story that was adapted to an episode of Creepshow.

See, it all sounds like it should result in a great horror western. It just really didn’t!

The Pale Door will be out on Shudder later and unless a slow-burner horror western is your jam, I’d wait for this. Sure, it might do something good for the movie to experience it in a movie theater, but I can’t imagine what it would be.

RLJE Films will release THE PALE DOOR in theaters and On Demand and Digital on August 21, 2020. It will then be released on Shudder at a later date.


Director: Aaron B. Koontz
Writers: Cameron Burns, Aaron B. Koontz, Keith Lansdale
Stars: Devin Druid, Zachary Knighton, Bill Sage,Pat Healy, Natasha Bassett, Noah Segan,Stan Shaw Melora Walters


In THE PALE DOOR, the Dalton gang finds shelter in a seemingly uninhabited ghost town after a train robbery goes south. Seeking help for their wounded leader, they are surprised to stumble upon a welcoming brothel in the town’s square. But the beautiful women who greet them are actually a coven of witches with very sinister plans for the unsuspecting outlaws – and the battle between good and evil is just beginning.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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