A Knock at the Door
Written & Directed by Katrina Rennells and Wendie Weldon
Starring Drew Jenkins, Kelley Mack, David Sullivan, Parker Mack
Not Rated | 8 Minutes
NY Premiere: November 10, 2016 (NYC Horror Film Festival)
Short films are important, and maybe no other genre is capable of getting to the point quickly like horror. The Saw franchise, which now contains 7 (!) films grossing almost $1 billion worldwide, is based on a short treatment by Leigh Whannell. Just this year, David F. Sandberg’s Lights Out grossed $141 million worldwide. That film was based on the 3-minute short Sandberg did back in 2013. Tonight, the NYC Horror Film Festival kicks off a 4-day extravaganza, and the short film A Knock at the Door is making its New York premiere there. The film is written, directed, and produced by an all-female team.
A Knock at the Door is less than 8-minutes and blends the atmosphere of the home invasion thriller with a science fiction twist. Nick (Drew Jenkins) returns home from work, and is in full-on relaxation mode when he hears a scream from next door followed by a loud high pitch sound. Before he can call the police, there is… take a guess… yep, a knock at the door. Neighbor Sara (Kelley Mack) is there, strangely soaking wet, and encourages him to invite some friends over. Why not? The get together is a usual mid 20s gathering, vinyl music, and plenty of shots. Things are going normally until Nick drops a glass and everything just kind of pauses. He awakes from a stupor to the sound of knocking at the door and goes to pursue the sound.
We’re dealing with a short film, so anything more is giving things away. A Knock at the Door is subtle, yet effective and evokes memories of both 2011’s You’re Next and the 1978 classic version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. There is one particularly haunting scene where the filmmakers use a creepy and effective score to build tension rather than fall to jump-scare cliches. At only 8 minutes, you’re left with plenty of questions and a burning desire to see exactly what is going on, and I would be totally down with this being fleshed into a feature-length version. As it is, A Knock at the Door is well worth your time, which wouldn’t be too much.
A Knock at the Door will be making the festival circuit through mid 2017, and will feature in the opening the NYC Horror Film Festival, showing at the 7:00pm screening of Darren Lynn Bousman’s Abbatoir.
The festival, which is in its 14th year, runs through Sunday, November 13th and is at the Cinepolis Chelsea, located 260 West 23rd Street in Manhattan. Get all the info including film schedule at nychorrorfest.com. We’ll have more coverage from the Fest here at Geeks Of Doom this weekend.