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By midlandsmovies, Sep 20 2019 10:55AM

Midlands Review - Death Knock

Directed by Jason Croxall


A man takes a deep breath in a car before exiting his vehicle and bravely walking up to a house in a suburban street at the start of new dark drama Death Knock, from local filmmaker Jason Croxall.

Grabbing his bag he wanders slowly to the door before we cut back to an office where a stern-looking lady (Evadne Fisher) sits behind a desk and says, “I need you to go and do a death knock”.

What’s that? Well, she explains that a family has lost their daughter in a hit and run accident and we discover the man is a journalist who is expected to grab an interview with the grieving family.

The reporter (Ryan J Harvey) tries to offer some resistance, suggesting a phone call would be easier, but the hard-nosed boss insists and indicates she could hire someone who would be willing.

A nice floating camera and cinematic sheen to the image give the film a movie gloss and the awkward situation the protagonist has been drawn into is nicely set up and explained. Whilst at the same time, the film creates mystery from the outset as to what could unfold once the door is eventully opened. If at all.

An inconsolable mother (Cherry Bagnall) answers and we immediately feel a sense of intrusion into this personal space. However, the man convinces her an interview could help her cause in catching the culprit.

Reluctantly agreeing to the suggestion we enter her living room. Here, director Croxall brings attention to the minutiae of the scene. A framed photo of a lost loved-one, a reporter’s notebook and an air of unsaid tension hangs in the air, portrayed excellently by the subtle movements from the actors.

As the conversation progresses, we are steered towards further friction between the two. Increasing the anxiety and stress, a mis-phrased question leads to further clashes at this most difficult of times.

A powerful short, Death Knock has a unique idea and sensitively tackles issues of grief-stricken parents and some of the shady practices of journalists to get a scoop. Leaving us with a sense of ambiguity at the conclusion the short is a successful examination of media morals and individual integrity.

Michael Sales

Watch the full short below:

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