TADFF09: Someone's Knocking at the Door
Meant to be a mind fuck from start to finish, the challenging Someone's Knocking at the Door features over the top killer phallus, sexual deviancy, and drug induced hallucinations. A group of drug-taking medical students are shocked over the murder of one of their friends by a pair of sex crazed serial killers, subjects of psychological testing done on their own campus decades earlier. As the police try to put the pieces to this bizarre puzzle together the surviving find themselves being hunted down and brutally slayed one by one. Can the authorities find the killers before they strike again?
When briefly chatting with festival director Adam Lopez last night it would appear that there are different interpretations of the film. As the film isn't quite straight forward as it would appear, what with the entire drug use and subsequent trips down hallucinatory lane, this makes sense so bravo in that regard. Perceptions of what is real and what is illusion will never be clear until the end of the film. Though I won't say I enjoyed this film I did see it as a story about character and memory. Without revealing the ending I cannot say much more than that, but these drug fueled hallucinations, as I see it, came out of opinions and perceptions of other characters in the story. From whose perspective? Is it really happening or is it all in our minds?
I'll never be a fan of sexual horror so the idea of victims dying because they are being raped to death by a serial killer with a mutated phallus or suffocated in what actor/producer Noah Segan refers to as the 'reverse birthing' scene doesn't rank high on my top methods of killing list. Yes, yes, it's all about perception and hallucinations, but no. Death by penis and vagina? No.
I felt let down by the ending, thought it was too tidy, too after school special and preachy, except the final shot suggests that perhaps there is another layer to the hallucinations happening on screen. In fact the whole film felt too clean and sterile. Perhaps sterile is not a bad thing as they are med students. [Heh, it is another movie with medical students getting in trouble. That's the second time this week!] But if you are inferring that your film is a throwback to 70s serial killer and hallucinogenic films you probably want to rough up your imagery a touch. I'm not saying scratch the crap out of it but it was too clean. You have this wonderful opening title sequence with stock footage of pharmaceutical drugs interlaced with footage of children lining up with milk money and big smiles on their faces. Then you're actual film is clean and without blemish. I understand they filmed it with the RED so if the source is digital then putting a light filter on it shouldn't be a problem.
Swing and a miss.