By Brett Mullins
The French Doors is a short horror film from New Zealand director Steve Ayson. The film’s premise is nearly explained in its title: a man installs a set of french doors in his home. The following day, he comes to realize that the doors, inexplicably, have a dark side.
With only a run time of 13 minutes, this film is able to captivate the audience, build tension and provide a few good scares. The redeeming quality of the film is its lack of dialogue and the resulting focus on background noise. There are several consecutive scenes, in a montage of sorts, where the only available audio is the sounds of a skill saw. This is reminiscent of the Robert Frost poem "Out, Out--".
In addition to allowing the score to pave the path to building tension, the silence and crickets remind the audience of the isolated state of the main character. He is alone in a large creepy house, which appears to be situated on a large barren plot of land. It’s quite obvious which fear this film plays on.
The only complaint that could be said of the film is that it doesn’t offer an explanation for the events that transpire, other than that they do occur. This problem is common to short films, but is not crippling to its overall effect, as is the case with feature length films (see Grace).
With that being said, The French Doors is still an effective enjoyable short that’s sure to please nearly all audiences.