A garage door is a handy thing – not only is it necessary to allow your car the room to get into the garage, but it's also a main entrance to the home for many people. But odds are you think of it as a mostly utilitarian feature. Most people don't associate garage doors with great, dramatic moments. But maybe you should. Take a look at three great moments in movie and television history that wouldn't have been possible without garage doors.
The Scream series of horror movies mostly distinguished itself by using horror movie tropes while forthrightly acknowledging its use of horror movie tropes. The events throughout the series followed a loose set of horror movie "rules" that most horror fans can relate to after watching any random selection of horror movies. However, the original Scream included at least one death scene that was pretty unique – death by garage door.
The victim was pretty and feisty party girl Tatum Riley, a friend of the series heroine Sidney. Tatum is the little sister to the Officer Dewey Riley, a character who survived to appear in each sequel. While it's a pity that Tatum's character wasn't able to reprise her role, her tense death scene is probably worth the sacrifice.
Confronted in the garage by Ghostface (Billy Loomis, boyfriend of Sidney, at least in this installation of the series) Tatum defends herself by hitting the villain in the face with a freezer door, then by throwing beer bottles at him. When he appears to be down for the count, she tries escaping through the pet door in the garage, but Ghostface hits the automatic garage door opener button, and Tatum is effectively hung as the door rises with her body trapped in the pet door.
What's sad for poor Tatum is that her death didn't have to happen. More modern garage doors have motion sensors that probably would have stopped the garage door from rising to the top. Since she was half in and half out of the pet door as it started going up, her kicking legs probably would have crossed paths with a motion sensor-enabled garage door's electric eye, causing it to stop or reverse course and allowing her to escape.
Burn Notice was a popular television series about an American CIA operative, Michael Westen. Michael is "burned" by the CIA, which means that he's dumped in his hometown of Miami, Florida with no money, no CIA contacts, and no explanation. The series covers his quest to find out who burned him and why. He's aided by an ex-girlfriend who's a former IRA operative, an old friend who is a semi-retired covert operative himself, and his often-difficult mother.
During the course of the series, Michael gets involved with solving various crimes or acting as a private investigator of sorts, usually either to earn money, since he's been left without any, or incidental to his overall mission of tracking down someone that can explain his burned status. In the episode "Friendly Fire," the eleventh episode of season three, he's tracking, and stopping, a pedophile and gangster. That's where one of the most satisfying garage door scenes takes place.
Michael is attempting to convince the gangster that he is a very well-connected, if not supernatural, "devil." While he corners that episode's antagonist on a street full of warehouses, his team plants the explosive C-4 on the hinges of a garage door on one particular warehouse. Michael informs the gangster that he's there about the van, and the criminal predictably asks which van, as if he didn't know. Michael snaps his fingers, and his team detonates the C-4, causing the garage door to explode and collapse apparently at Michael's command. This reveals the van that the gangster had denied knowledge of.
Had the gangsters taken the step of disabling the automatic release on the garage door, Michael's team may not have been able to gain access to the warehouse, and the warehouse owner might not have to replace a garage door. Sadly, many thieves also manage to break in through garage doors this way, but a special garage door locking device can prevent this.
Breaking Bad is perhaps one of the most popular television series in the past decade. The plot concerns a mild-mannered chemistry teacher, Walt, diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, who sets up a meth-making operation in order to obtain enough money to provide for his family after his death. Or at least that's how it starts out – by the series end, Breaking Bad is a practically a character study of what drives some men to seek out power and money at any cost.
Walt's primary antagonist is his Drug Enforcement Administration brother-in-law Hank, though Hank isn't aware of this through most of the series. Hank and his coworkers are on the hunt of a dangerous meth kingpin known only as Heisenberg, who happens to be none other than Hank's formerly meek and mild brother-in-law Walt. Hank's discovery of Walt's illegal activities in the last episodes of the series is the impetus for what may be one of the most talked-about garage scenes of all time.
In the episode "Blood Money," the first episode in the second half of the fifth season, Walt discovers a GPS tracker on his car – one that he's seen before in the hands of his DEA agent brother-in-law. This coincides with Walt missing a crucial piece of evidence of his activities, which he realizes that Hank must have taken. He heads to Hank's house to confront him, and finds his former friend in his garage. When Walt produces the GPS tracker and asks Hank about it, Hank shuts the garage door by remote. In this setting, this small action is frankly ominous and almost eerie. What follows is a short but explosive confrontation that fans of the series had been waiting for since the very first season.
It's a good thing that Hank had a garage door remote control handy, because having to walk to the wall to push the button, or worse yet, go lower the garage door manually, would have detracted from the intensity of the scene. But the remote control allowed Hank to continue looking Walt right in the eyes as he lowered the door, upping the intensity factor for the viewers.
While all of these scenes are small parts of a much larger whole, they're also vitally important small parts. Without the garage doors featured in these scenes, they wouldn't have anywhere near the impact that they do in their current form. The garage door may typically be a useful but humble home entrance, but in the right circumstances, a garage door can make or break a dramatic cinematic moment.
If you're in need of more information about garage doors, or are wondering just how important they really are, have a peek here at more information.