Movie Review: Portal Runner * New, Captivating Movie With So Many Twists And Turns And Never A Dull Moment
When 15-year-old Nolan discovers a secret family legacy and a portal that enables him to travel to parallel worlds, it’s a young boy’s dream come true … until it becomes a nightmare when he realizes he’s being pursued across the ages by an evil force. When he becomes stranded on Christmas in an alternate timeline with his quirky family and a rebellious and petulant older sister he’s never met before, he realizes Mae may be the key to defeating his adversary and must enlist her help fast … before it’s too late for them all.
KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Maica N. comments, “Portal Runner is a new, captivating movie with so many twists and turns there is never a dull moment. Up-and-coming actors use an interesting plot to turn this film into a memorable one. Portal Runner has the potential to become a fan favorite.” Ayden P. adds, “Portal Runner is very different from traditional holiday films. Even the name, Portal Runner, is titled differently from most holiday films. The fact that the film takes place around the holidays seems secondary to the actual events of the film.” Tom W. (Adult reviewer) wraps it up with, “Portal Runner is a great horror film that also qualifies as a family film. The character development between two siblings, Mea and Nolan, is worth noting. They go from siblings that hate each other to a duo willing to collaborate to solve an issue. I love all the sound effects and music, the props (especially the cooker-like appliance that is the cause of the all the horror) and the main character, Nolan, who is willing to sacrifice himself to stop all the unfortunate things that are happening in the house.” See their full reviews below.
By Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, Age 14
Portal Runner is a new, captivating movie with so many twists and turns there is never a dull moment. Up-and-coming actors use an interesting plot to turn this film into a memorable one. Portal Runner has the potential to become a fan favorite.
The film Portal Runner follows a young boy, named Nolan (Sloane Morgan Siegel), who was living a perfectly normal life, until he discovered a portal to other worlds. When he realizes that he is actually being targeted by an evil force, he ends up on the run, going between parallel worlds. With the help of his sister Mae (Elise Eberle), he must try to stop the evil force before it’s too late.
Something that impressed me in this film is the way the tone matches the plot and the different scenes. Director Cornelia Duryee clearly knows exactly what she wanted this film to look like, and conveys it precisely. In the scene where Nolan is being chased by the evil force, it is dark and the music grows increasingly intense. When watching, the audience feels the same kind of fear that the characters are feeling. It has a small cast and that actually benefits this particular film as the scenes seem more intimate and it’s easier for the audience to understand the dialogue. The actor that really stands out for me is Elise Eberle who plays Mae, Nolan’s sister. She is very versatile character; she is sly, rebellious, scared, angry and lovable at different points of the film. Elise Eberle’s performance definitely delivers that. Portal Runner is a movie that will entice you to watch it multiple times, especially if you’re a sci-fi fan and like time travel related films.
The main message is that sometimes you need to sacrifice things in order to help the people you care about. There are lots of times when Nolan and Mae want to focus on themselves and what they want, but they eventually come to terms with the fact that their family needs them more.
I rate Portal Runner 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. Portal Runner releases on VOD December 10, 2021.
By Ayden P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Portal Runner is very different from traditional holiday films. Even the name, Portal Runner, is titled differently from most holiday films. The fact that the film takes place around the holidays seems secondary to the actual events of the film.
The story is about a 15-year-old named Nolan (Sloane Morgan Siegel) who has the ability to travel to parallel worlds. Noah is also cursed because he is chased through the parallel worlds by a monstrous evil. The parallel world includes family members, like a sister Mae (Elise Eberle), that Nolan doesn’t have in his true world. Once the portal stops working, Nolan must make allies and dig deep to destroy the creature before it destroys him.
Portal Runner maintains a good and interesting story line. That is, once you get past the beginning, which is a little confusing. The writers allow the viewers to figure out that Nolan is able to travel to parallel worlds by watching the movie. Although later that is explained. It may take a younger audience a few minutes to catch on to this. Overall, the characters are believable as family members and we observe Nolan’s character grow and become more caring as he interacts with family across the parallel world. Both Uncle Boon (Brian S. Lewis) and Carol Roscoe (Klara/Mom) bring some comic relief and serve to help the film stay family friendly. There is definitely more room to explore Nolan’s relationship with his extended family in the parallel world and how that shows him what he is missing in his world. Perhaps a sequel is in sight.
The message of the film is that sometimes we need the help of loved ones to fight our demons. Another message is to spend as much time as you can with you family because it could be over in a blink of an eye.
I give Portal Runner 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Portal Runner releases on VOD December 10, 2021.
By Tom W., KIDS FIRST!
Portal Runner is a great horror film that also qualifies as a family film. The character development between two siblings, Mea and Nolan, is worth noting. They go from siblings that hate each other to a duo willing to collaborate to solve an issue. I love all the sound effects and music, the props (especially the cooker-like appliance that is the cause of the all the horror) and the main character, Nolan, who is willing to sacrifice himself to stop all the unfortunate things that are happening in the house.
The story follows Nolan, the main character, as he discovers a portal that allows him to travel to parallel worlds. But things start to fall apart when he realizes that he is not alone. He tries to fight off the monster by himself and fails to do so. When he is all alone he uses the portal, which causes him to be with his family and a sister that doesn’t exist in his “real” life. Their relationship develops from him mistrusting the sister to realizing that she might be the one to remove the evil force and the two of them would have a race against the clock.
There are certain aspects of this film that are pretty scary such as when the monster shows its deformity. The sound effects and visual effects make it feel like a horror film. The parts where Nolan argues with his sister are perhaps too realistic, especially for someone who had argued with their own siblings. The movie flows well. The characters, Nolan and Mae, develop from argumentative siblings to ones that can work with each other to solve the problem of how to get rid of the evil force. Their relationship definitely drew me in, in terms of how they develop. I enjoyed the background music, which is tense and eerie, suitable for a horror movie. At other times there is upbeat music, such as when the family is celebrating Christmas. The costumes, in particular the monster’s costume, are fitting. The sets, especially the one in the garage or basement where Nolan’s uncle is setting up the Christmas tree, are typical family settings. The story does encourage ways of problem solving. For instance, when the monster approaches Mea and her mother, they come up with a temporary solution of restraining the monster. The entire process of how Mea and Nolan collaborate to remove the curse is another example of problem solving.
The message is that teamwork is the key to success. You should be aware that there are references to Hitler, smoking weed and a shooting.
I give Portal Runner 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. Portal Runner releases on VOD December 10, 2021.
Key words: Elise Eberle, Brian S. Lewis , Denny McAuliffe, Shaunyce Omar, Carol Roscoe, Matt Shimkus, Sloane Morgan Siegel, Roy Luke, Cornelia Duryee