We all know the typical game show format: a well-dressed host, a team or a live audience cheering on the contestant, all in the hopes of winning a grand prize. But what happens when you realize your prize is something you actually don’t want to win at all?
Kati Skelton and Harrison Atkins’ dark comedy Door On the Left takes your typical game show format and flips it on its head. Five women, all clad in pink and bubbling with excited energy, stand next to the awkwardly silent host. The winner excitedly chooses the door on the left, only to find the prize is a stairway to hell that she must now embark on – and it only gets more absurd and bizarre from there. The characters realize it’s absurdity, yet for some reason, they can’t help but follow down the same path.
Simplicity is key to Door On the Left. It’s set decoration is minimal, which emphasizes the feelings of alienation and highlights the film’s absurdity without coming across as gaudy. It’s editing and format further satirize the original game show setups from the 1970s.
The double bait and switch nature of Door On the Left makes it unique, propelling the film forward without ever being predictable. Furthermore, the camp nature of the setup along with the intentional over-acting provides a thoroughly comedic and entertaining dichotomy to the film’s darker undertone.