What if The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe was a horror film? That’s at least the very stimulating setup for Seven in Heaven, even if it not pays off to that level. This is the kind of disappointing movie where you feel like they came up with a clever premise but had no idea where to take it. In that way, it almost comes off as a bad Stephen King story.
Jude and June get locked in a closet at a high school party while playing seven minutes in heaven. The only problem is, when the door is opened for them, they’ve vanished. They’ve been taken to an alternate dimension. Right up until this point the film is actually pretty interesting. And in fact, the film remains somewhat interesting back in the real world. The cops show up and the teens have to figure out how to outwit them while they figure out what happened to their friends. Yes, teens at a party in a stalemate with cops is actually more interesting than the alternate horror dimension this film presents. That’s the real downfall here.
Back in the alternate dimension there’s a lot of running down empty streets, a weird gameshow of murder, and much ado about some racy playing cards. The problem is the cards never really amount to anything and the gameshow scene feels out of left field (are we in a new alternate dimension, and if so, why is Derek injured?). I really like high concept horror films like this, but too often their concept doesn’t feel fully developed and the entire thing collapses under its own weight. That’s especially the second half of this film.