Sam (Michael Jeske) is a young man with special needs. A family tragedy forces Sam to leave his home and move in with his sister Madison (Megan Jacobs). Sam and Madison are less than happy about their new unwanted situation. Sam misses the familiar and consistent life that is now gone. Madison yearns for her lost independence and freedom. Madison’s landlord Roy (David Ruprecht) the town curmudgeon, is not amused by the drama and conflicts that now surrounds his once lonely, but peaceful existence. But, even Roy is not immune to the simple truths and unshaken faith Sam brings to the town of Fort Barber, the local church, and Roy’s old farmhouse. “The Open Door” illustrates how everyone has a special need. Some wear them on the outside for everyone to see, while others keep them hidden deep inside.
The Open Door is an endearing and purposeful film. We learn how important acceptance can be to impart healing and personal growth. Sam (Michael Jeske) and his sister Madison (Megan Ann Jacobs) face a new reality of having to depend on one another after enduring tragedy in their childhood, and often their presence in one another’s lives seems to do more harm than good. Sam struggles with a special need and challenges everyone he encounters, especially Madison, to find value in who he is and what he has to offer to both the community and individuals.Though the performances are a bit forced at times, there are aspects that truly shine. The characterization of Madison, who struggles with her own issues of addiction, and of Sam, who tries to manage anxiety and fear, convey the power of relationship and unconditional love to produce healing and restoration at deep levels. Likewise, there are some effective visuals, such as the opening sequence, which is captivating and suspenseful, that encourage the viewer to invest in the story from the very beginning and throughout. The character of Roy (David Ruprecht), an avid churchgoer, brings balance and wisdom to the screen as he models for Madison, Sam, and the rest of his congregation how love is a choice best exhibited by accepting and valuing each individual for who they are.