Jack Nicholson, putting the 'Ax' in 'Ax-Crazy
So, Bob's taken a trip down Ax-Crazy
road, and his terrified Love Interest
, Alice, is hiding in a locked room, praying she will be safe. She isn't in any less danger, of course; once Bob discovers her hiding place, he will immediately try to break the door down to get at her. Technique varies, but he may employ such time-tested classics as striking the door with an axe, pulling at the door from the outside, throwing his body against the door, or breaking a glass panel and putting his hand through in an attempt to unlock the door from the inside.
All this takes time, of course, and in the meanwhile the camera (and the audience's sympathy) will be with the frightened Alice crouching in a corner
, listening to Bob's assault on the door and hoping it will hold...
Compare to There Was a Door
for when somebody's so impatient, they just break through the wall
instead of the door.
Naturally involves An Axe to Grind
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Anime & Manga
- Outlaw Star: Melfina shoots down Harry's requests to "go with him" and locks the door of the ship. Harry's pretty unstable and doesn't take it well. He bangs incessantly on the door but Melfina ignore his cries to let him in. Cue Harry shoving his fist through the door, and wrapping it around the throat of a surprised Melfina effectively pinning her in place and chocking her for a few moments. He releases her and opens the locks in a quick fashion, much to Melfina's horror.
- Hanamaru Kindergarten's 10th episode had a horror-style ending which used this trope, among others.
- Axis Powers Hetalia: Belarus has done this to her brother Russia once by ripping out the door handle.
- Mawaru-Penguindrum: Tabuki in episode 11. Ringo's Love Potion actually works on him, but then he starts acting like a frog ("ribbit" included) and making really horrible Nightmare Faces... as well as when he also punches through a door to try and get Ringo back inside, presumably to rape her after she decides to not have sex with him.
- The Trope Maker and likely Ur Example is 1921 Swedish silent film Körkarlen (The Phantom Carriage). The scene in The Shining is a clear reference to this one, even if The Shining is what every following Shout-Out is to.
- The Shining is the Trope Codifier. Jack Nicholson, having gone Ax-Crazy, hacks through a door after his wife Wendy and shouts, "HEEEEEEERE'S JOHNNY!" In fact, there are likely enough parodies of this one scene out there to form its own Sub-Trope.
- This happens in Prince of Darkness when the Sealed Evil in a Can infects several members of a research team. It sends them after the uninfected members, having them break through blocked/locked doors to do so.
- In The Man Who Knew Too Little, Wallace uses a croquet mallet to smash through a door. Naturally, he shouts "Heeeere's Johnny!" right after.
- Friday the 13th - This trope is used in every movie, usually against the Final Girl. A machete against a closet door in the first film, a pitchfork against a kitchen door and a pickaxe against a shrine door in Part 2, a regular axe against a closet door in Part III, an axe that goes through the door and into someone's torso in The Final Chapter, et cetera.
- Michael Myers from Halloween also likes this trope. A particularly hilarious example happens in Halloween: Resurrection where Michael simply walks through a reinforced mental-hospital door as if it were made out of cardboard.
- In the remake, he likes this trope so much he even bursts through solid walls.
- In Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny, & Girly, the titular family favor this type of dramatic entrance as one of the psychological games they play on their "friends".
- When the cult members in The Final Sacrifice are trying to break into the teenage protagonist's house at the beginning, they sneak around for a bit and then unsubtly chainsaw through the door. Mystery Science Theater 3000 has him object, "It's open."
- In Midnight Movie the killer uses his weapon to break through a door and kill the biker with a heart of gold.
Live Action TV
- Done in the Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps episode "When Janet Killed Johnny!" as a Shout-Out to ''The Shining".
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In the episode "School Hard", one of Spike's minions is trying to break down a door. Spike tells him to use his head, grabs him by the scruff of his neck, and uses his head to break the glass on the fire axe case beside the door.
- In Angel, Wesley goes insane and goes after Fred with an axe. Parodied on the blooper reel, when the blade comes off the axe mid-chopping. Alexis Denisof, without missing a beat, continues... politely tapping on the door with the axe handle.
- In one episode of The Young Ones, the students' landlord goes crazier, becomes an "axe-wielding homicidal maniac", and starts to hack his way through the door.
- Parodied in A Bit of Fry and Laurie, when the two Special Squad policemen arrive at a woman's house looking for a suspect. Laurie's character begins smashing the door down with a sledgehammer, and Fry points out that it's unlocked and steps inside. Laurie answers that he didn't carry the hammer all this way just to turn the handle and makes Fry close it behind him so he can keep breaking it down, and puts a couple of extra holes in it once he's on the other side himself.
- In the pilot episode of Misfits, the psychotic probation officer uses an axe to bust into the toilet cubicle where his first victim is hiding.
- In Zombies Ate My Neighbors, the Jason Voorhees Captain Ersatzes are able to destroy obstacles such as doors, just like the player's bazooka.
- The Raincoat Killer in Deadly Premonition.
- Alan Wake has a direct reference to The Shining when Stucky slams an axe through the door Alan just ran through.
- This is the main use for the axe in Mitadake High. It's also the loudest sound in the game.
- Axe-wielding zombies will sometimes make an entry this way in the House of the Dead series, although there's nothing stopping you from blowing half their body to smithereens before they can finish breaking through the door.
- A random Exocella-possessed corpse (or zombie, if you like) does this in a room of Cold Fear. Noticeably, it's one of the few times where they actually do such a thing, as normally they can't operate doors.
- In The Simpsons Halloween episode "The Shinning", an obvious parody of The Shining, Homer does this:
(Homer chops through door)
Homer: Heeeere's Johnny!
(camera pulls back to reveal empty room)
(Homer chops through another door)
Abe Simpson: Hi David, I'm Grampa!
(Homer chops through another door)
(holding a ticking stopwatch) I'm Mike Wallace, I'm Morley Safer, and I'm Ed Bradley. All this and Andy Rooney tonight on 60 Minutes
- The Boondocks episode "The Return Of Stinkmeaner" has Tom, possessed by the ghost of Stinkmeaner, parody the scene from The Shining.
- Take this Up to Eleven and this is probably what happens when a smaller city is beiseged and the invading army decides to pull out a Battering Ram, with people hunkered up, cowering in their homes, hoping the gates while hold.
- Standard procedure for firefighters when confronted by locked or obstructed doors in a burning building.
- The Military however, goes for a "Breaching Tool", the layman's term for this advanced piece of hardware is Sledgehammer.
- SWAT teams tend to use a small one-man Battering Ram to break through doors.
- Crossing this trope with Chainsaw Good, some police forces in the UK employ circular saws when battering rams prove ineffective.