Directed by: #PhilipBrocklehurst
Written by: #MuhammadHolmatov
Short Film Review by: #ChrisBuick
Prolifically busy #filmmaker Philip Brocklehurst is back with another short film once again inspired by the iconic horror and slasher films of the eighties, a recurring theme that has carried through a lot of his previous works such as Vengeance Runs Red and now continues with his latest effort Lock The Door, paying particular homage this time to John Carpenter's Halloween.
After a long hard day doing…. something, we see a young man return home wanting nothing more than to put his feet up and relax with a great film from his vast collection. But while he sits down to enjoy the works of Claude Chabrol, he has forgotten one important thing; to lock the front door.
Much like with his other aforementioned films, Brocklehurst employs a distinctive style of gritty, raw aesthetics which genuinely do well to capture the grainy look and feel of those now famous classics. Even the echoing synth score creates a somewhat chilling callback to the famous themes that are now so iconic in our minds, and the film clearly comes from a #filmmaker in love with the genre.
However, that seems to be where the positives of this piece meet their grisly end. While the look of the film might be right, what we get to see unfortunately let's it all down. Shots that seem clever (such as running a finger down a tower of DVDs or a close up of switching off a light) add nothing to the piece, all time that could and should have been better spent elsewhere. Other shots seem simply nonsensical (why does the killer stand literally across the street in broad daylight sticking out like a sore thumb?).
It's obvious that the dialogue here is of course entirely tongue in cheek but it is so hammed up to the point where what it actually does instead is render the film completely void of any gravitas or tension or, if intended, humour. Therefore the film is never able to firmly plant its feet either as a film that is going for scares or laughs and in the end doesn’t achieve either.
From the films title alone, one might expect a certain unpleasant outcome here which is absolutely fine, but what we need is to be taken down a path that leads us to that conclusion with at least one or two surprises along the way, and there is simply nothing here that tries to do anything remotely new or original, instead just playing out step by step what we already know will unfold, which all point to a basic premise not being thoroughly thought through or supported with better writing.
Brocklehurst has some promising ideas and a real potential to make good on them, but lazy writing is the main culprit here. As an important public safety announcement, it’s a pretty good one but as a horror, Lock The Door is unfortunately lacking tension, surprise and imagination.