As concepts go the one behind Curtain is “out there” to say the least. When burnt-out nurse Danni (Smith) moves into a recently vacated apartment, all she wants is a little peace and quiet. What she doesn’t expect is that her bathroom contains a portal; a portal that will suck in every shower curtain she hangs and send it careering through another dimension. When friend and potential love interest Tim (Lueke) suggests writing her phone number on the next curtain it seems like a way of getting to the heart of the mystery.
There are many things to admire in Jaron Henrie-McCrea’s low budget comedy horror. The central idea itself, which carries more than a little Twilight Zone DNA, is clever in its bizarre simplicity, and is certainly one you are unlikely to have seen before. Combining humour with horror is always a tricky balance but Curtain succeeds through not trying to be too much of any one thing. The tone is consistent, being weirdly amusing throughout, before slipping into gorier territory at the end.
As for the two leads, they do a pretty good job of maintaining some level of sensibility amongst the ridiculousness, even when they are visited and warned about continuing on by a group of hillbilly, Cenobite-like characters who go around branding “curtain hangers”. All in all, Curtain is a decent throwback for those who remember The Twilight Zone with nostalgic fondness.
And therein lies the problem. This film feels too much like an elongated episode, with a central premise only strong enough for a much shorter feature. Even with a trim running time of 74 minutes some scenes feel unnecessary or overdone, something which becomes even more evident in the hasty and brief finale. As for the hillbillies, it’s difficult to know quite what they add, or why they are dressed like hillbillies for that matter, but when compared to the idea behind Curtain, perhaps it isn’t worth worrying about.
What we should do is celebrate Curtain for its bizarreness. This is a fun, if flawed, film that showcases the abilities of its director and cast, and if nothing else demonstrates there is still some originality out there.
CURTAIN / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: JARON HENRIE-MCCREA / SCREENPLAY: CARYS EDWARDS, JARON HENRIE-MCCREA / STARRING: DANNI SMITH, TIM LUEKE, RICK ZAHN, GREGORY KONOW / RELEASE DATE: JULY 18TH