Horror has delved into many strange places. From biting female genitalia to Nazi zombies, there aren’t many worlds it won’t explore. Yet, to make a serious horror film about a bathroom. That seems ambitious for even the most out there of genres.
That hasn’t prevented Curtain (also known by the slightly less impressive title The Gateway) from giving it a go. It is a film about a bathroom that eats shower curtains. Of course, it turns out it does a hell of a lot more than that, but to begin with, it is the curtains that are bothering our protagonist Danni (Danni Smith).
The question for this kind of film is whether it is any more than a fun idea. There are plenty of great titles and premises out there, but few translate into films worthy of the ninety or so minutes they take up. They are the equivalent of the great idea you have in the pub. In the cold light of day, it never works quite as well as it did in that warm beer filled glow.
In the case of Curtain, we sit somewhere in the middle. There are some good ideas here as we begin to unearth Danni’s past (she has recently quit her job as a hospice nurse to become an activist for Whale Savers) and get introduced to a shadowy organisation who hold the answer to this bizarre bathroom conundrum. However, it’s all delivered with a straight face which honestly makes it ridiculous. With a sense of humour, this film could have been a lot of fun. Without one, it becomes silly.
It’s also unusually meandering for a film that has quite a tight run-time. There’s a lot of scenes where not much happens, and while I have no issue with an element of mystery, it does leave you feeling like you missed part of the story.
Curtain is more a curio than a necessary watch. It’s not particularly good, but on the other hand, it’s not bad either. It just is. It’s a film that takes a bizarre and weird idea and manages to make it work. What’s frustrating is that with a few tweaks it could have been even better.
Verdict: Hall of Fame/Shame (it’s my website, I can do what I want).