Someone's Knocking at the Door
is a movie starring
Noah Segan, Andrea Rueda, and Ezra Buzzington.
Returning to the medical school where they were test subjects decades ago, a pair of outrageously twisted serial killers use shockingly brutal sex acts to start killing off a group of drugged-out med students.
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The shocking news of the gruesome, sex-related homicide of medical student Ray Harris spreads like wildfire in the Linda Vista Community Hospital, where the brutally slain student was found in his dorm. Was it a deviant S&M game gone horribly wrong or is a deranged campus sex killer lurking somewhere out there? Soon, as the police investigation continues, a strange connection between the highly experimental hallucinogen "Taldon" and the peculiar 1973 case of John and Wilma Hopper emerges, while Ray's friends, one by one, start being stalked by an obscure pair of insane sociopaths with only one intention: to ravish them to death. Before long, the bright red blood will flow fresh and warm, so, how could one escape when the obscure enemy lives inside his head? Or maybe he doesn't?Written by
Review of Someone's Knocking at the Door from Arizona Undeground Film Festival
Horror films are often made by independent filmmakers because of their ability to be produced for a smaller budget and the current worldwide popularity explosion that makes distribution a little bit easier. Consequently, there are a lot of really bad horror films made to simply try and capitalize on a growing market, instead of making the film because there was something to be said. Well, Chad Ferrin's film Someone's Knocking at the Door is thankfully one that has purpose and high skill with which the narrative is conveyed, taking the audience to a truly unique world that is fairly unfamiliar. This film came to the Arizona Underground Film Festival last week and after viewing, it was clear that the filmmakers had a definite vision to express. The film explores the relationship between a group of medical school students who are sexually obsessed, unconventional, and overwrought on drugs that they gain access to because of their connections through medical school. The other thing to keep in mind with this film is that it clearly steps outside the constraints of the horror genre, straddling comedy, drama, exploitation, grindhouse, and horror all at once for a rich and cinematic portrayal that will certainly keep the audience on the edge of their seat.
The students are examining, of their own volition, a case from the 1970s about Wilma and John Hopper who were serial murders and rapists. The thing is, they seem to have returned, bringing their brand of psychedelic terror with them. These are two of the most creepy and demented characters to grace the screen in front of this writer's eyes. Their method of dispatching their victims is, well creative, disturbing, terrifying, and unique. It certainly raises the pulses of the audience as these villains are just so bad, almost demonic in nature rather than just disturbed humans.
The medical students in the film are using drugs for many reasons, but one other than the easy access they have is a desire for the expansion of the mind. However, their use of an experimental drug in particular opens the doors of their minds, perhaps a bit too far, and allows the Hoppers to terrorize once again. It cannot be stressed enough how creepy and demented the Hoppers are. They are the antithesis of everything warm and fuzzy in the world, down to their method of extermination.
The film is filled with terrifying situations, but they are of a psychological and gory nature, not a startling variety generally speaking. The question of what is really going on in the film world, what is motivating the madness of the characters on screen is what is terrifying to consider. Do the Hoppers have a higher purpose or are they just plain mad? Are the students being influenced by drugs or are their feelings and hallucinations real? This film explores many questions, doing a nice job of answering them for the most part, while ultimately leaving the audience to sort out the truth of the film through the complex, yet extremely coherent narrative which leads the viewer on a thrilling path that showed this writer what a horror film should and can be. Even the sound design seems to go far beyond the average horror film, showing attention to detail and a desire to utilize the cinematic medium to its fullest.
Another great aspect of the film is that it is genre bending, possessing elements of comedy, subversion, satire, and true gore, yet in spite of its flouting of convention, it chooses to follow one important tenet which is keep the viewer on the edge of their seat throughout the film, something lost on many current horror productions as their goal seems to be to make an interesting DVD cover with a half naked person on it and hope the masses take it home. The half-ass filmmakers hope that the consumer is simply too lazy, too busy, or too ignorant to bring the film back to the place of purchase. Someone's Knocking at the Door does not presuppose ignorance or laziness, but rather, it hopes the viewer comes with a certain type of film acumen, and applies it to the piece. If the viewer does that, they will be rewarded with a rich and deeply meaningful work of art in front of their eyes.
Films like Someone's Knocking at the Door obviously could be objectionable to some viewers, but this is why watching film is a two way street. If you are the type who is offended by content in films, you should be vigilant in researching what that content is going to be in a film that you choose to go and see. Stifling and censoring art is a one way ticket to Nazi Germany, Russia under Stalin, hell, the United States under its current police state mentality. This is not where art culture should be. Filmmakers should be free to make any film that they see fit, not just films that fit into a preformed box that only offends "x" percentage of people, and "y" percentage of people will find it favorable with a chance for a return visit. It is that capitalism thing that can often drive art to the embarrassing place it is being relegated. The films being pumped out at your local mall every week are mostly terrible, and yet people just keep going. Instead of accepting the rubbish you are being fed, take in a film like Someone's Knocking at the Door at your local art house, independent, not corporate, whatever other types of theaters there are in your town, and turn you back on the fraudulent films being pushed on consumers by big business.
By Eric Shlapack Tucson Film Industry Examiner
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