Something a little bit different for you guys today. Have you ever wondered about the impact that doors can have in cinema? That’s right, you heard me correctly, doors! Well, neither had I until recently when I came in to partnership with the team over at Truedor.co.uk who opened my eyes as to the importance of those very structures in some of my favourite movies of all time. Allow me to take you on an unexpectedly interesting journey through time to explore just how different certain classics would have been if their choice of entrance had been altered!
Possibly one of, if not the, most famous door scenes in cinematic history. Jack Nicholson’s unhinged character Jack Torrance has suffered a mental breakdown and turned ever so slightly psychotic due to being in a haunted hotel. In this scene he is trying to get to his wife who is hiding in a bathroom.
As the door is locked Jack takes special measures to try and get inside, with a little help from an axe. Jack is hitting the door repeatedly with an axe, pieces of wood flying everywhere, until he has made a gap big enough for his hand, and more famously his head to fit through to gain access.
If, however, this door had been a composite door which are made of a stronger material than your average wooden interior door there would be no ‘Here’s Johnny’ scene, probably just a sore shoulder from the impact of hitting an axe against the door and hurt feelings from failing at his plan to massacre his family.
Nightmare On Elm Street
Nightmare On Elm Street lulled its audience into a false sense of security, we believe that big bad Freddy Krueger is dead once and for all. The final scene of the movie decides to give audiences once last scare.
It is an unusually bright scene with Nancy being escorted out of her house by her formally dead mother, who is now very much alive, as she is getting into a car with her friends, all who died during the film as well, viewers start to believe that the whole film before this point may have been a nightmare. But as Nancy closes the car door she becomes trapped and watches out of the window as her mother is pulled head first through the glass part of their front door.
If their front door was a composite door Freddy wouldn’t have been able to smash through the stronger glass used in these doors, meaning that Nancy’s mum would have been safe and could have helped her daughter get out of the demon car!
The Hateful Eight
Despite being set in a time that wouldn’t have composite doors, these guys really could have done with one.
Throughout the film, set mainly in a log cabin-type building in the middle of a snowstorm, the front door keeps blowing open and letting the cold air in. This results in those in the cabin having to nail a piece of wood to the door and wall to keep it shut, but every time someone wants to come in the wood is knocked off and the cold let in again!
If these guys had a composite door the cabin would have been more insulated which would have meant a warmer environment and better moods all round. Admit it, who gets angry when they’re too cold? A warmer cabin probably would have stopped everyone getting grouchy and shooting each other, but then again it was a Tarantino film so the shooting was imminent.
No Country For Old Men
I’m not implying that a composite door would have stopped Javier Bardem’s character, Chigurh, from going a little psycho with a gas canister, but it definitely would have decreased his kill count!
There is a scene in the movie where Chigurh is off on another murder binge at a motel. He obviously doesn’t have a key for the room but does this stop him? No. He calmly places the nozzle of the gas canister against the lock and blows it in, allowing him access to his next victim.
The locks used on composite doors would never be so easy to blast through with a gas canister. If the motel had invested in some quality doors, that man would have kept his life and Chigurh would have had to walk away feeling a little embarrassed, so much so that he may have given up the idea of killing altogether.
The Big Lebowski
A definite smack your head moment, well, if you were The Dude it would be. This scene taught audiences that if you want someone to stay out of your apartment, either ensure the door is locked or that you know which way it opens.
The Dude is attempting to secure his apartment, he has a plank of wood at the ready to nail to the door, but as a temporary measure he puts a chair under the door handle to stop intruders from pushing their way in. This probably would have worked for him if the door had been a push rather than a pull!
If The Dude had made sure he bought an apartment with a composite door, he would have been able to rest easy knowing that his lock would work and that barging in would have taken some extreme effort.
The Truman Show
We were all happy when Truman Burbank stepped out of his fake studio world and wished us all a ‘Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!’ however if we look at it from the side of the production team and director, they are losing a valuable member of their ‘family’ as well as a very popular cast member!
In the final scene of the movie Truman has fought through his crippling fear of the water to escape his suburban nightmare. However as the ship is floating into what seems like endless seas and blue skies Truman finds his boat hitting a large wall. He sees stairs and begins to climb to reach the exit door, and it just opens. If the makers of the show had invested in a better door, like one with a lock, he may not have escaped!
There is no condoning holding innocent people prisoner but they thought of everything else so it seems strange that they wouldn’t go that extra mile to ensure that the exit out of the entire fake world he has stayed in his whole life was locked!