It’s been nearly a decade since Jonathan Burton released the terrifying and heart-wrenching animated short, Behind Closed Doors, but it’s a new flick for me. And it isn’t just any old animated short, it’s absolutely riveting, eerily juxtaposing the idea of a literal monster with a monster of a father who finds boozing to the point of spousal abuse entertaining.
I don’t need to tell you that these two monsters eventually merge into the same lane. I probably don’t need to tell you precisely which monster prevails in a duel of perceived evil, either.
Burton’s animation is slow moving but extremely interesting, often utilizing engaging color schemes and the occasional sharp contrast to crank the fear factor up a few notches. And while that fear factor definitely makes for good fun, the heart of the story really rests on the human side of things. Seeing a young boy, already petrified at the idea that a nasty monster may be hiding in his closet, walks down the hall to hear another monster entirely, and this one is made of flesh and bone, and sends the boy’s mother tumbling from their room, a beaten mess. That’s what sticks with viewers most. Even more than the slight little twist in the final moments of the flick.
Behind Closed Doors is satisfyingly creepy, but it’s every bit as sad. Those two emotions dancing a jig in the human mind makes for a powerful viewing experience that we simply cannot recommend enough.
You watch the picture directly below our official rating: