I’m a sucker for ‘last person on Earth’ movies. From The Quiet Earth to Twilight Zone episodes - and the many zombie movies I’ve subjected myself to - stories that deal with the concept of the complete breakdown of society and our hero left alone continue to scare and fascinate.
RO Pictures’ latest stylish short employs this very concept to good effect: The Door introduces our ‘hero’ (Jessica Duffield) waking up to find a world - following a series of worldwide earthquakes - quiet and abandoned by people. Not only that, but there’s something or someone lurking outside her house. To the filmmakers’ credit, not only do we get to see this being but it’s a really rather good monster.
Short films are not usually subject to the same rules as features and don’t necessarily require a three act structure but The Door is divided neatly into these three parts: for the first five minutes, the girl realises she’s alone, and the ‘thing’ is outside; the middle segment brings a frantic tussle with the titular door as something tries to get in, while the finale… well, that would be telling. The effect is that by the time the ending rolls around, we’ve spent just enough time with the lone character to be at least curious as to what her fate is, maybe get some answers to this whole nightmare.
With slick cinematography by writer/director Cal O’Connell - there are some nicely framed shots and moments of Spielbergian ‘God light’ shining into every crack of the walls - and an insistent, haunting soundtrack and score, The Door scores points over many horror shorts by providing just enough M. Night Shyamalan (there is more than a hint of The Village) without breaking the intensity for one moment or giving us a copout ending. This one is worth watching all the way through with headphones in a dark room, so turn off your phone alerts before you hit ‘play.’
And seriously: kudos on the monster.
Watch The Door below…RO Pictures