A young boy named Gregory is dealing with some serious issues as of late, most notably the monster that has decided to take up residence in his bedroom. However, this monster isn’t Gregory’s only problem, as another monster of a completely different variety is making his life a living nightmare. And this monster doesn’t go away when you turn the lights on.
Created by Jonathan Button, Behind Closed Doors is a short animated horror film that deals with the many fears that can come with being a child, especially a child who is forced to deal with any level of intense parental conflict. In Gregory’s case, this parental conflict comes in the form of an abusive alcoholic father, whose prime target is, at least as seen in this short, Gregory’s mother.
The fact that Gregory has an abusive father is what makes his plight so interesting, as no matter where he goes, there is no place for him to find safety. In one room there is a devilish monster hiding in the shadows, while in another, Gregory’s father is aggressively drunk in a fashion that commands complete avoidance for the young boy. This situation leaves Gregory with no place to turn, as he is surrounded by monsters both literally and metaphorically. He’s left alone to deal with these demons, which is likely the truth for many children with abusive parents.
The title of this short film certainly alludes to what family drama can occur behind closed doors, not what monsters might be hiding inside of a young boy’s closet. The truth of the matter is, it’s the abusive father who is the real monster of this short, but impactful story.