Directed by Nathan Suher
Starring David Kopcych, Gio Castellano & Lindsey Elizabeth Cork
Short film review by Sarah Smeaton
This short film is as terrifying as it is disturbing. A torturous story of unrequited love and a man who is willing to do anything, become anything, to have the woman he has his sights on.
Next/Door right from word go sets up main character, Otto Wells, as being a simple, if somewhat lazy, average Joe, as the film opens on him slobbing out on his shabby sofa when he hears the unthinkable happen next door. He overhears an altercation between a couple and what appears to be a gunshot. Coming to the rescue only once the man of the house, Hector, played by Gio Castellano, leaves we have an immediate understanding that this guy, Otto, is never going to win any bravery awards. His astuteness is further solidified when he enters his next-door neighbour’s flat and finds the woman of the house, Patty, (Lindsey Elizabeth Cork) on the bed covered in blood, to which his immediate response is to stay where he is and ask, “Patty are you okay?” This has got to be the first alarm bell that this guy is not normal. And he most certainly is anything but.
It must be said that David Kopcych plays the role of average bachelor meets psychopath exceedingly well. The mundane nature of his actions is thoroughly well performed. Team this with the perfectly timed and harrowing music, composed by Kevin Macleod, and we’ve got ourselves an extremely creepy and macabre horror. What’s so morbidly delightful about this short film is how well the mundane aspects of life are seamlessly juxtaposed with the outright grotesque and gruesome nature of murder and psychoticism. The overlaying background noise of the shower running and rhythmic, repetitive music while Otto talks to the now dead Patty, reinforces how normal and natural Otto feels about this situation, whilst also having the impact of making this scene that bit more terrifying for those of us having to view Otto’s unnatural and disturbing behaviour. It is completely normal to Otto that he’s just done something so horrific that it’s what nightmares are made of in order to obtain Patty.
Another mark of fantastic directorship here by Nathan Suher in Next/Door is in one of the most disturbing scenes in this short film, where we have a frantic shift between a beautiful, bright and airy scene of Otto and Patty dancing and beginning to make love, with the awful reality, which is shot in black and white of Otto and a what is essentially an inanimate corpse. We’re then quickly snapped into morning light, with Otto back on the couch by himself, making us wonder if this was all a dream. I can’t quite put it into words just how thankful I am that this is not how the film finishes. This wonderfully dark film needed an ending to fit. If for nothing else, watch this film for the ending. It’s simple yet remarkably clever in nature. This is a wonderful piece of filmmaking.