One night a year…
Evil at the Door is a 2021 American thriller about one night a year when the world experiences a terrifying increase in violent home burglaries. This is no coincidence.
Written and directed by Kipp Tribble (The Stay; Lobo; Char Man; Coffin and Coffin 2). The MRP Entertainment-Trick 6 Films production stars Bruce Davison, John James, Scott Hamm (The Stay; Coffin 2) and Robert Allen Muicks.
The Locust are a secret guild that has been around for almost a century. Once a year this guild organizes a night of home invasions (runs) for its members, known as the Night of the Locusts. And that night…
The tension rises between Daniel and Jessica. Daniel was in trouble at work with his boss and detectives breathing down his neck. And now Liz, Jessica’s younger sister, turns up unexpectedly, on the run from her violent boyfriend. While hostile parties take place in opposite parts of the house, everyone’s worst nightmare unfolds in the backyard: Four masked men arrive for Locust Night. The grasshopper’s clock is ticking and they have 180 minutes to entertain themselves.
While Jessica locks herself in the bathroom to take a bubble bath, Liz sits on the bed. Little did they know that Daniel had already been suckered and now bound and gagged. When the locusts come up the stairs, Liz catches them and tries to warn Jessica – but in vain. Liz has nowhere to go and is hiding under the bed when the masked men enter the room.
There they discreetly expose themselves and reveal their identities at night: Kennedy, Truman, Eisenhower and Nixon. While the four men play sick games with Daniel and Jessica, all Liz can do is hide under the bed. Thus begins a unique cat-and-mouse game, in which the cat doesn’t even know the other mouse exists.
As the race draws to a close, Liz prepares her escape when the Locusts realize there is a traitor in their group. But will the division between the invaders be enough of a distraction for Liz to survive before the Locust Watch ends?
I’ve always been fascinated by the damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don’t choices that can be forced upon a person. And so evil was born at the door, in a simple scenario: What if you couldn’t warn someone about the dangers of waiting because you’d be exposing yourself to certain death?
I thought about the script for a long time, but it was just an idea for a scene shot after the house was broken into. So when executive producer Richard Siegelman contacted me in early 2020 about financing my next film, I pitched him the idea and he loved it. So I decided to make up a story about this one scene.
I knew from the beginning that the film would be shot primarily in one location, as we were working on a low budget and only had four days to shoot the entire film. We will also be working with the new Covid protocols on set, which will result in a tighter schedule with fewer actors and crews to make as many arrangements as needed. Once these guidelines/restrictions were in place, the story began to take shape.
Early on, the Locusts were formed, a secret guild of men from all walks of life who pay annual dues in exchange for participating in an organized home invasion one night a year. When actor/producer Kenny Yates came on board, we spent a lot of time developing the story of the Locusts, their history, the rules of the guild, etc. Even now that the movie is finished, we’re expanding the universe of this guild and its members and discussing future Locust movies. But that’s another story…
As an actor, I always want to make sure each character is well fleshed out and not one-dimensional, which can easily happen in a genre film like this. So casting becomes very, very important. But it was even more important to find the right actors for this film, because we had a different approach to dialogue, since about 60% of it is improvised. Each character has a story to tell in the film or a moment where they share something personal.
Here I wanted to experiment and give each actor the chance to appropriate this moment by creating their own dialogue in this scene. So they got sketches and rhythms for their scenes, and then I played them. It really gave the actors a sense of ownership of the moment and it worked beautifully.
Although we filmed at an incredibly fast pace, we spent a lot of time during pre-production discussing the slow pace we wanted for the film. Kenny (who, in addition to his many other hats, also served as cameraman) was fantastic at giving the crew the feeling that they were filming everywhere, while still maintaining a fast pace.
And during post-production we tried to keep that deliberate pace, and that slowness is perfectly supported by our composer Wesley Hughes. I can’t say enough about our small but mighty team!
The actors and characters:
Bruce Davison… John Doe
John James… Rebook
Scott Hamm… Eisenhower
Robert Allen Mooks… Cleaner
Solar Girl… Jessica
Kenny… Yates… Nixon
Kipp Tribble… Truman 19 Matt O’Neill… Daniel
Richard Siegelman… Kennedy
Andrea Sweeney Blanco… Liz
Robert Felstead Jr. …Isaac
Woodland Hills, California.
Keywords on the page:
Breaking into a cult
Original source: Daley Tot
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