Being a stranger in a strange house can be downright eerie, especially when you’re left to roam around by yourself. Here is somebody’s entire life, their personality, all their idiosyncrasies, and passions, under one roof. You never know what strange item you’ll find around the corner or what skeletons will jump out of the closet. Director Paul Taylor examines this uncomfortable dynamic in his engaging short The Blue Door.
Gemma Whelan (yes, Yara Greyjoy from Game of Thrones) plays an in-home nurse who arrives at the home of her new patient (Janie Booth), a catatonic woman reminiscent of the creepy old lady in the “Drop of Water” segment of Mario Bava’s Black Sabbath. While performing her normal duties, she notices an odd blue door, and things get weird.
“…she notices an odd blue door, and things get weird.”
With a runtime of just over nine minutes, Paul Taylor uses his time wisely and delivers a perfectly encapsulated story with no dialog. His shots reveal the mystery of this elderly lady’s rundown home as the nurse makes her way through it. He also effectively builds tension when it all goes awry, and the nurse realizes all is not right.
Whelan delivers a brilliant silent performance. We feel her pity and genuine concern as she cares for her patient, as well as her fear when she feels threatened. The weight of the films rests on her, and she carries it beautifully without saying a word. We read her thoughts on her face, and it’s more than enough.
Every time we step into someone’s home, we’re walking into uncharted territory. As innocuous as it may seem, there may very well be something sinister lurking around the corner. Respect your surroundings and stay on your toes.
The Blue Door (2019) Directed by Paul Taylor. Written by Ben Clark and Megan Pugh. Starring Gemma Whelan, Janie Booth, Annie McGrath.
8 out of 10 stars