Brooklyn Horror: Door (1988)

Director: Banmei Takahashi

Running Time: 94 Minutes

Starring: Keiko Takahashi, Daijirô Tsutsumi, Shirô Shimomoto, Takuto Yonezu

Unreleased outside of Japan, co-writer/director Banmei Takahashi's Door was thought to be lost for over 30-years. That all changed this year, when various festivals celebrated the home invasion flick's anniversary by screening it for the first time in their corner of the world, allowing a wider audience to finally see this unhinged work.

The opening establishes the setting by moving through a high-rise building before arriving at the Honda residence, where Yasuko (Keiko Takahashi) lives. With her young son Takuto (Takuto Yonezu) at school and her husband Satoru (Shirô Shimomoto) working an intense schedule, Yasuko spends most her time alone fending off pushy salesmen. When Yasuko slams a door onto the hand of a door-to-door salesman (Daijirô Tsutsumi), she unwittingly becomes his obsession as he starts stalking her.

As Yasuko grows uncomfortable from just hearing footsteps outside, the nightmare begins as she discovers an indecent message written on her door, and an unwelcome addition to her post. As there is no information regarding the stalker's identity, the police offer no help to the frightened woman. She is left terrified knowing that, while her husband is away, the salesman knows where she lives.

The repeated shots of the front door captures how it is all that stands inbetween Yasuko and possible danger, as she grows more uncomfortable over how much the salesman knows while uncertain of where he may be and what danger he may pose. The sound design tremendously captures this by amplifying Yasuko's heavy breathing, and distorting the male voices to capture her disorientation at not knowing who her harasser is. Bringing alive the roles are effective portrayals, with Tsutsumi delivers a chilling performance as the aggressor, while Keiko Takahashi magnificently depicting the terror felt.

Banmei Takahashi stylishly directs this work, utilizing tracking shots to emphasize the unsettling nature of scenes, while a highlight involves a birds-eye shot of a pulse-pounding chase. With the frantic feeling action, the feature avoids something polished and artificial in favour of a panicked struggle that feels real. When it comes time for the grisly practical effects, they comes alive in show-stopping ways before ending the film very memorably. What remains is a tremendous feature that deserves to be discovered by more people.

Door previously played at Brooklyn Horror