Someone’s Knocking At The Door (2010)

Someone’s Knocking At The Door is a truly unique cinematic experience. And I mean that in the best possible way. It’s daring, shocking, awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping and, surprisingly, very watchable.

A group of young medical students decide to experiment with a drug called Taldon, which causes their perceived reality to blur around the edges. When their friend dies in suspicious circumstances, having been quite literally raped to death whilst on the drug, the friends find themselves the unwitting victims of 70’s serial killers/rapists John and Wilma Hopper who have somehow re-emerged in the present to continue their reign of depraved and vicious sexual terror.

Not only is the story at the heart of SKATD shockingly original, it’s also remarkably solid. The film has been lauded as a ‘genre-defying grindhouse throwback’ but to a certain extent, this phrase actually does it a disservice. Genre-defying? Certainly. Grindhouse throwback? Not so much. While it has shades of the gritty exploitation flicks of the 1970’s, it’s also a lot more than that, it’s very stylised but not in a derivative way. SKATD certainly takes its cues from that era and definitely evokes the films it pays homage to but the visual style is all [Chad] Ferrin’s own.

The cast is made up largely of unknowns, with the exception of Noah Segan, Ezra Buzzington and a brief appearance by Lew Temple. The entire cast are believable in their roles but the star of the show is definitely Buzzington. He emits a snarling but calm air of menace throughout and presents a terrifying and palpable threat. It’s testament to Ferrin’s assured direction that the performances from all involved are not only plausible but suit the material to a T.

Thankfully, and surprisingly, for a movie that relies quite heavily on shock value the gore effects are kept to a relative minimum. When used though, they’re effectively disgusting and may even prove to test the gag reflex of some of the most hardened gorehounds. Weak stomachs and those of a sensitive disposition need not apply here. Most importantly though it is resolutely CGI free and in this computer-reliant age of moviemaking, for that alone, the makers should be praised.

Thankfully, SKATD isn’t played completely straight. The obvious difference between this and other serial killer movies is that the weapons here aren’t a knife, or an axe, a gun, or even a machete, but a deadly, man-eating vagina and a 15 inch long wang. If there hadn’t been at least a few laughs then the whole thing could have fallen on its humourless face but mercifully, there is enough dark comedy present to ensure that it never feels forced or po-faced. Lines like, “His colon was perforated by a phallus nearly 4 inches in diameter and 15 inches in length.” “Woah, we’re looking for a black man?” help to elevate the film above the usual grindhouse influenced fare and despite the subject matter, give it a cheeky edge.

In the same way that movies like Irreversible used sound effects that were specifically designed to make the viewer feel nauseas, SKATD uses staccato noises and jarring sounds to submerse the audience in the protagonists’ surreal circumstances and make them feel ill-at-ease. It’s a risky technique but Ferrin has managed to pull it off and, along with a soundtrack of distinctive, psychedelic songs, has created a strangely atmospheric, nightmarish ride.

My only real complaints are that, at times, there are glimpses of what could be seen as anti-drugs propaganda, although I’m almost positive that this was never the intention, and it clocks in pretty short at well under 90 minutes.

SKATD is subversive without ever being preachy, funny without resorting to splatstick and astoundingly visceral without being overly gratuitous. It will undoubtedly offend, shock, repulse and sicken but it’ll also thoroughly entertain if you go into it with an open mind and a desire to watch something that’ll push a boundary or two. I would be incredibly surprised if Someone’s Knocking At The Door doesn’t become a cult classic sometime in the future and while it is absolutely not to everyone’s tastes, it deserves to find its audience.

Rating: ★★★★★★★½☆☆

6 Comments on “Someone’s Knocking At The Door”

  1. Sarah Law says:

    Also, as an aside, the person who called it ‘the most depraved film of the 21st century’ obviously hasn’t seen the One Man, One Jar video.


  2. Sarah Law says:

    Dude, that’s old news, it’s all about the jar guy these days. Although if you haven’t seen it already, don’t look for it. I don’t want that on my conscience.

    • Scullion says:

      My eyes haven’t quite stopped bleeding since the girls “film”, so I think one man and his jar will be avoided. Forever.

      We do live in a world of rubbernecking fools.

  3. Louise McG says:

    Jar guy is all about the soundtrack.

  4. Tom says:

    Has anyone ever seen the OST tracklist for this film? I’d be grateful if there was a link…

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