It’s midnight, there’s a knock on your bedroom door and you’re the only one home. What do you do? This is the question The Knock poses, and whilst it may seem fairly familiar territory for a horror film, Zach Lorkiewicz’s nightmarish fantasy may give you an answer you wouldn’t expect. After arriving recently online, Twelve Cabins is excited to present the The Knock accompanied by a conversation between us and Lorkiewicz on the creation of his otherworldly story.
Where does the creative process for a film like The Knock begin?
The idea for The Knock was pretty simple in its inception. I was sleeping one night and thought somebody was gently knocking on my bedroom door. The idea of a person being in your home without a sense of urgency was really frightening to me.
I also took inspiration from nightmares I’ve had throughout my life. One in particular that used to reoccur when I was a child that involved a presence that I could never see, but that would show up hidden in my dreams.
So much of the unsettling atmosphere is built on the pacing and a build up of tension, is that an aspect you plan going in or is that created in the edit?
I knew that the pace of The Knock was the most important aspect to it working. Even though the short is only four minutes long, it actually took a lot longer than some of the films I’ve made. The editing of the sound and the visuals was so meticulous. I edit all of my own projects, so it is easy to kind of go crazy finishing things, especially when they are as detailed as The Knock.
The ending totally took me by surprise and is such a visual feast. Were you looking to emulate any particular film or filmmakers that similarly have such a visually striking aesthetic?
I have a lot of influences in different mediums of art, but some filmmakers that really inspire me are Dario Argento, Mario Bava, David Lynch, David Cronenberg, and honestly a lot of European cinema in general. My favourite filmmakers are people who think visually first. There are a lot of hidden references and details in The Knock, but I don’t want to spoil them all.
Could you talk about creating that bat-shit crazy ending?! What were you aiming for with that sequence, and how did you find executing it?
The ending was the culmination of many different ideas. I looked at ‘Visions of Hell’ paintings for that sequence a lot. I wanted to capture what happens when a nightmare doesn’t end.
We actually shot the ending three different times, because it was so difficult to get right. I have to thank our Actress Lauren Buckley for allowing us to put her through that so many times. We also shot this entire film in our apartment, where most people from our Production Company Count the Clock live. Things became very messy for that final sequence.
What do you think it is that attracts you to make genre work?
I’m attracted to the horror genre because it feels like one of the only areas of film that has a platform for people who are outsiders. It brings out some of the most unique voices in art, and allows them to find an audience.
Can we expect some equally crazy work from you soon?
I’m currently finishing my first feature screenplay, which we’re shooting later this year. It involves a group of housewives trapped in a home during an alien invasion. Almost all of my work is on our YouTube channel Count the Clock, which is my production company. Check it out!
If you’d like to either send us your film or contribute some writing to Twelve Cabins, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for all the details.