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Simon Read [Film Festival 10.31.09] United Kingdom movie review horror

Year: 2009
Directors: Chad Ferrin
Writers: Chad Ferrin & Roham Ghodsi & Rosie Roberts
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: projectcyclops
Rating: 6 out of 10

Chad Ferrin’s film - Someone’s Knocking At The Door - feels like several films in one. It’s about a group of medical students who hang-out together, riffing on each other, taking drugs, going to parties, having sex and occasionally breaking into the hospital records room to search for unusual cases to read about. One night Ray, a pretty boy with a heroin habit, is shooting-up and watching TV when someone starts... knocking at his door! Blearily answering the knock, Ray is amazed to find a beautiful, naked woman who demands to have sex with him immediately. What do you think Ray does?

Unfortunately for Ray, she turns out to be a kind of demonic shape shifter and morphs into a horrific tattooed grunt of a man, who proceeds to rape poor Ray to death, leaving his corpse for the local homophobic police force to snigger at; “Must have been a fag, huh?” The next day, ray’s ex-girlfriend Meg is shocked to discover the news, and the group convene at Ray’s funeral. There’s Justin; the hippy guy who’ll try anything, Joe; the stuttering black kid who’s smarter that he looks, Penny; a Slavic minx, and my favourite character Sebastian; a worthless, moneyed little shit with a bad attitude towards nearly everything and everyone. The group has a kind of suicidal streak running through it; nobody seems to really care about life in that ‘Gen X’ kind of way. This is expressed best by Justin’s drug habits, he takes so much of everything that his reality is constantly being distorted and as such he’s never sure what’s real and what’s not, as Ferrin uses glitch-style editing effects and jarring cuts to express how fractured his state of mind is.

This is also where Someone’s Knocking falls down. While there’s some really well observed Gen X comedy about slacker medical students who are by turns both brilliant (they are trainee doctors after all) and moronic (some of their actions are beyond stupid), there is also this vibe of horror as each member of the group is hunted down by this somewhat inexplicable demon who, yes, rapes them to death with his freakishly huge penis. Add to this the drug taking and proceeding excessive cuts in film and music, and the result is an over stimulated mess which can’t decide if it’s horror, comedy or borderline psychedelic nonsense. It’s a shame as there are some diamond moments in the film. When Justin is questioned about his latest plan to give his friends a dose of something new, called ‘Taldon’, they ask if he’s sure it’s safe and he starts nodding enthusiastically, randomly adding, “I’m fine, i’m fine! Say... have any of you guys taken PCP?” which got a big laugh. There’s also a moment when a huge, naked man with a prosthetic erection is chasing Meg down a damp corridor which she keeps slipping on, and when the police catch-up with them they’re so confused by the scene that one officer actually shoots his partner by mistake. Moments like this were so much fun that when the film started glitching and jarring again, or forcing another brutal rape scene, it kind of a downer.

Overall it’s a slickly made horror/comedy which perhaps could have benefited from a less hyperactive editor and a clearer sense of purpose. It’s disjointed with too much happening at once and for no reason and the ending acts more as an excuse for what’s happened before it. That said, at least it’s an honest and original attempt at something ambitious.

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