“Write. Shoot. Edit. Repeat.” has been Ryan Connelly’s mantra since starting the Film Riot YouTube channel in 2006. Over the years we’ve seen the channel grow and Connelly’s filmmaking skills along with it. There’s Comes a Knocking is the latest in a long line of short film offerings from the writer/director.
There Comes a Knocking is the story of Emma, a young woman who is mourning the loss of her lover. She is all alone in a new house, a house he bought for them.
Stefanie Butler is compelling as Emma. She conveys a lot of emotion given the short run time, and makes us feel for her even before the screaming starts. We are drawn into her world by Connelly’s slow-moving camera, which seems to float omnipotently as we stay with Emma right until the chilling climax when the horror is revealed.
Cinematographer Chase Smith’s use of warm and cold light take the story from a drama about loss to a supernatural thriller perfectly complemented by Daniel James’ foreboding score.
This film feels like what David F. Sandberg would have made when he was making his horror shorts if he had more money and a crew. It’s easy to see that Connelly and company have come a long way since their DIY days.
There Comes a Knocking is a proof of concept short for what will hopefully become a feature film, a first for Connelly. After years of helping filmmakers improve their skills, he has sharpened his own and is ready to move to the next level, proof that his practice of writing, shooting, and editing will definitely open doors.