Director: Frida Kempff
Writer: Emma Broström
Starring: Cecilia Milocco, Krister Kern, Albin Grenholm, Ville Virtanen, and Alexander Salzberger
After being shown, to generally favourable reviews, at various festivals around the world, Knocking is seeing a UK release on digital platforms on Monday. It’s a horror/thriller that deals with paranoia and someone who starts to question their own sanity.
Molly (Cecilia Milocco) is released from a psychiatric ward, where she had been since a tragic incident, and has moved into an apartment to restart her life. Things don’t go quite to plan when she starts to hear a repetitive knocking each night. It sounds like it’s coming from the floor above, but none of the neighbours seem to hear it. She starts to suspect that there’s someone in need of help, but no one will listen, not even the police. Since no one will believe her, Molly is forced to investigate this alone.
The premise is very familiar to a lot of other films from Rear Window to Blow Out. The film focuses in on one character who believes something is happening that no one else can see. Straight away, with Molly’s past, you’re not completely sure if you can believe her as a narrator, it’s entirely possible that everything is happening in her head, but director Frida Kempff does a great job at creating a tense and disturbing atmosphere to keep you engaged while the plot unfolds.
Cecilia Milocco does a great job at carrying the film, being on camera for almost every single second of the run time. You can feel her paranoia and fear as she tries to help the person knocking. She believes they are using morse code to try and communicate, but she can’t quite understand. At one point she hears crying through the vents in her bathroom, but when she says hello, no one replies. It’s a strong performance and without it, the whole thing would fall apart.
While the atmosphere is excellent and the central performance is great, there are some pretty big flaws in the film. It’s a very slow paced plot, with not much escalation in what’s happening until towards the end. Even though it’s only eighty minutes long, it feels a lot longer. Not much really happens for the first hour, other than knocking and no one believing. On top of that, Molly has her phone in her hand quite often, why doesn’t she just record the knocking so the police will believe her, or better yet, record the crying she hears in the bathroom. At least she could prove to herself that she’s not insane.
Plot holes aside, it’s still an interesting thriller. It’s not very original, but it’s engaging enough that you want to find out the truth of what’s really happening. The ending is also great and feels very satisfying when you get there.
Signature Entertainment presents Knocking on Digital Platforms 15th November
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