There was one thing Seth MacFarlane’s “comedy” A Million Ways to Die in the West didn’t take into account, and that’s witches.
After a train robbery goes bad, two brothers leading a gang of cowboys must survive the night in a ghost town inhabited by a coven of witches.IMDb
Horror Westerns are a fun niche subgenre rarely delved upon, which is a real shame. While a fair portion of them aren’t great the outliers within are fun, brutal, and relentless; i.e. Bone Tomahawk, From Dusk Til Dawn 3: The Hangman’s Daughter, and Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat.
Aaron B. Koontz seems to take this amalgamation of a subgenre and really just go to town with it. Upon entering town, the gang are met with booze, babes, and beguilement. Soon after things go awry when they must fight for their lives against a coven--for some reason. It doesn’t matter why, just because.
It should be noted the creature effects, which are shown heavily throughout, are mindblowingly scary (and thankfully practical, from the looks of it).
The cast is pretty stacked with Melora Walters (The Butterfly Effect, Dead Poets Society), Zachary Knighton (The Hitcher, Cherry Falls), Stan Shaw (The Monster Squad, Cutthroat Island), Noah Segan (Knives Out, Looper), and indie God PAT F*CK*NG HEALY (Cheap Thrills, The Innkeepers).
Also writer/director Aaron Koontz has quite the resume. He has served as producer on many wonderful projects like Starry Eyes, Camera Obscura, and Scare Package--the latter he wrote and directed 2 of the stories within.
The Pale Door looks to be a fun romp through the wild west, the only question is…will you survive the night? Shudder has acquired the rights to this gem, so keep an eye out for a release date!
I write horror sometimes.