A spiffy storefront. An innocent kid. A mom who’s probably reconsidering her childcare options. A business owner who wishes she’d turned out the lights earlier. The Knock at the Door is a pared-down thriller that takes us through a short sequence of events designed to cause the pulse rate to quicken.
The story centers around a business owner who’s minding a friend’s kid for the afternoon. There’s a knock at the door, and the quality of life takes an unexpected nosedive.
There’s company — a seemingly mild-mannered business nerd who turns on a dime and is playing for keeps. It’s the old “my car won’t start” gag. But then things get hot. Kudos to the writer-director for going straight to the action and steering clear of bad dialog.
“There’s a knock at the door, and the quality of life takes an unexpected nosedive.”
There’s a gnarly bit of business where the kid is in danger — maybe it could have been extended just a few more terrifying seconds. All of this goes down just when the business owner and the kid were about to leave for the movies — after a day like this, any flick is guaranteed to look lame.
One small quibble is that after an apparent savage blow is meted out, the victim stages an amazing recovery with no visible ill effects.
None of all the action — the invasion, the violence — is explained, which is a good thing because an explanation isn’t needed. The mystery of it all is what sticks with us.
Still, we can’t help but wonder if this is a typical day at the office, or if the boss lady is just having incredibly bad luck. Let’s hope it’s bad luck.
The Knock at the Door (2018) Directed by Brian Feeney. Written by Brian Feeney. Starring Stephanie Enderby, Fred Galyean, Jonathan D Bergman, Maisah Mitchell.
8 out of 10 Silver Hammers