A young woman wakes up in the middle of the night from a knock on her bedroom door.
The Knock is a nightmare that everyone has shared; a fear that we have all felt. From writer/director Zach Lorkiewicz comes a short horror film that taps into our most basic of perturbations—when you lay awake in the dark and hear a sound that shouldn’t be.
Starring the talents of Lauren Elyse Buckley, Deborah O’Brien, and Anna Christensen, The Knock is a short, barely five-minute film that packs more into a minute than a Viagra commercial. Easily described as the horror equivalent of a drag race, it goes from zero to a hundred within seconds and never quite find the brakes.
It is hard to go in-depth with films as short as this without spelling the whole thing out, but try we must. The knock made my job easier by packing a ton of visual, audio and technical achievements into its runtime so let us unpack those first.
The timing of the shots and scenes are rhythmic, almost to a beat. The angles are clever and the choice of close-ups are wonderful, visceral, and creepy. It’s an almost textbook example of excellent editing yet still personal and passionate; you can see the vision was clearly laid out before filming—ideas that had been stewing for a long time.
Coupled well with the editing is a smart use of what I would describe as guttural industrial. From the first bang of the door to the crescendo of chaos, we are treated to well thought out soundscape that helps build atmosphere and drive the film forward. It is as relentless as the visuals and arguably more integral to understanding the plot.
A lot of short films fail on visual aesthetic, usually due to a lack of budget or choosing to spend money elsewhere. With The Knock, the visuals work and never come off as cheap, though I suspect this came down to meticulous editing rather than money spent on SFX. It works, and it works well. I was honestly impressed where I am usually let down. Lorkiewicz was smart with his budget and smarter with his post-production.
The Knock is a great short overall. It plays on familiar fears, staying creepy and haunting throughout. While very much typical of what we usually get in a short horror film, it is the attention to detail, sharp editing, and a great choice of shots that will keep you on edge. It will impress at festivals and definitely walk away with some laurels. Having premiered in the latter half of 2019 and now hitting the indie circuits, it is bound to cause a stir. Make an effort to check it out. Thanks for reading and as always, stay sordid. Poster and link to the short below.
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.