Alternative Titles: Lock the Doors: Truegerische Sicherheit
Director: Mr Zito
Writer: Mr Zito
Starring: Sabine Wedde, Janette Pissang, Marcel Richter, Dirk Thümer
Student Anna, desperate for money, agrees to a rural babysitting job for an indeterminate period of time. Once there she begins to see a strange figure nearby, inviting her friend over to keep her sane the two soon realise that they might not be alone.
LOCK THE DOORS kicks off not only with a functional introduction to our lead Anna, on her way to a babysitting gig, and her best friend Nina but also with the news that a cannibal child killer had just got out of prison. Now you don’t have to be genius to work out where this is heading.
As the story continues writer/director Mr Zito wastes no time in moving past the niceties and LOCK THE DOORS soon turns into what appears to be your standard stalk-and-slash film with Zito teasing us with POV shots and fleeting glimpses of our villain, although moments of doubt begin to creep in, and we start to question is he merely a figment of poor Anna’s imagination.
There is no time to dwell on that however as a couple more characters are thrown into the mix either for plot development or simply as a body bags. Although it is pretty clear it is the latter that is going to define this film as when the gore finally starts Zito revels in it and milks these moments for all they are worth.
Surprisingly however, especially when compared to the majority of it’s genre peers, LOCK THE DOORS did make a genuine attempt to include some character depth for both our main protagonist and antagonist. This works both as an emotional investment for the viewer and as a device to help drive the story forwards. Not to mention helping to add a level of maturity and depth to a film in a genre that is so often found lacking in this respect.
If this is all sounding a bit too sensitive do not worry, as once these moments have served their purpose it is back to the real bread and butter of a slasher – tense scenes and gory violence which, in all but one shot benefits from some fantastic Fx. I say all but one shot because during one killing there is a terrible, cheap close up shot choice but thankfully that is almost immediately followed by a terrific vibrant shot which would have been enough just on its own.
The final act however is where LOCK THE DOORS really excels as Zito brings everything together with a strong and cohesive link. It is in his method of doing this that lifts the film as it transposes almost into a true-crime story and is both captivating and fascinating, while not being beyond the realms of possibility. This method of story telling really drew me in enhancing a tense and brutal final act.
Overall thanks to a terrific soundtrack and competent acting LOCK THE DOORS surpasses its low budget and lack of resources, ending up much more than the sum of its parts and any slasher that makes you scream at the characters for their decisions is a success in my eyes.
Although one area in which the film does falter is the look of the killer – he is simply not iconic or cool enough to become the next big thing, coming across more as a second rate Harry Warden (MY BLOODY VALENTINE) but the look is practical and does play into the home invasion genre as opposed to the more fantastical such as Jason or Cropsy.
So when the only issue you have with a slasher script is that the baby sitter took an hour of run time before she even checked there was a baby she was meant to be looking after then you know you are onto a winner. Thanks to some genuinely tense moments, over the top German gore and, when you think of it, an extremely brutal motive of the killer LOCK THE DOORS is one to recommend any fan of gory slasher flicks.
Perfectly combining the North American 80s home invasion slasher along with the more extreme gore that Germany is famed for, LOCK THE DOORS is almost guaranteed to please fans of these genres. Although conceptually at first there appear a few similarities to Fred Walton’s WHEN A STRANGER CALLS, this would be doing writer-director Mr Zito a significant disservice as LOCK THE DOORS quickly develops its own identity. Although by no means a modern classic it will entertain, revile and have you shouting at the screen and spilling your beer.
We reviewed the 2016 DVD release from Rotten Cat Media and Dark Corridor Entertainment that is available from Black Lava which comes with a terrific soundtrack CD alongside the DVD.
Both picture and sound quality are decent enough although there are a couple of moments nearer the end in which German subs become hardcoded for only a few minutes. The film has German audio and English subtitles.
On the actual disc itself the only extras are the terrific trailer (English subbed) and an outtakes reel which is German language only.