Title: Heaven’s Door
Directed by: Craig Clyde
Starring: Charisma Carpenter, Dean Cain, Kristin Dorn, Joanna Cassidy, Tommy Duane Lister and Ed Herrmann
Running Time: 98 minutes, Rated PG
Special Features: Trailer
Riley’s parents are getting a divorce and grandpa just died. Her life seems to be getting worse until she finds a wormhole to heaven among the branches in a giant tree in her yard that gives her healing powers. Soon the town gets the news that she has divine powers to heal the sick and her life gets more complicated.
The opening scene is Riley and her grandfather talking about soccer and as soon as the bland dialogue is over the girl throws in “You’re the best Grandpa ever!” I immediately dry heaved. This is one of those movies that appeal to people who don’t let their children watch television, and their entertainment starved kids will watch anything as long as the TV is on.
The acting by all is irritatingly exaggerated and the pacing is too quick. A sick little girl leaves the room and 5 seconds later her older sister says, “I better go check on her.” The soundtrack is awful. I had to mute during the many flashbacks and montages. The message of losing religious faith when things go wrong is heavy throughout the film. There is a scene where the mom tells her daughter to promise not to help any more people, and the daughter promises. She of course breaks her promise to her mother which goes against Christian values. This may be confusing to children if they’re told it’s okay to disobey your parents as long as they’ve given up on their faith. Of course when the daughter restores her parents faith, all is well in the world.
Tommy Lister was underused as the misunderstood gentle giant with a heart of gold. His character is the stoic lingering figure with unyielding faith that tends to be a staple in these types of films.
To forgo my cynicism, Heaven’s Door does have a good message of dealing with loss, forgiveness and building strong family relationships; but the director could’ve eased up on the heavy use of cheese and melodrama.
Reviewed by: JM Willis
Total Rating: C