Following a traumatic experience, Molly (Cecilia Milocco) is dispatched from a psychiatric facility only to move into an apartment where strange knocking can be heard each night. Fearing for the worst, Molly falls down a dangerous rabbit hole to find the source of the knocking no matter the cost.

Described as “twisty” and “claustrophobic”, director Frida Kempff‘s film is very much that. More often than not, despite the overall generic nature of the plot, the intrigue of discovering the source of the knocking was enough to keep my engagement level peaked. This is, in large part, due to the overall writing (by Emma Broström). Knocking is very much a mystery-thriller and Broström‘s writing helped the overall film from venturing into directions that could have been easily taken. Molly’s experience is one that anyone living in an apartment can sympathize with, yet through the twisty narrative and slow discovery of Molly’s mental state, the payoff is more than necessary to feel satisfied as a viewer.

On the flip side, what lets this film down for me is the focus on the “claustrophobic” feeling. The camera is almost always focused on Molly, and usually right in her face. Naturally, this is intentional as the focus here is Molly and her experience. You’re meant to feel claustrophobic because that’s how Molly is feeling. However, by act three, this was, in my opinion, used entirely way too much, and having a break from it would have helped the scenes breathe. That being said, this is just a minor annoyance I found myself having as I watched and can understand the purpose of this direction.

Overall, Knocking is what it sets out to be and does it well. It’s a mystery-thriller meant to blur the lines between reality and illusion. Milocco’s performance is impressive and emotional, truly being the connection the story needed to sell the paranoia and delusion Kempff and Broström had envisioned.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Signature Entertainment presents Knocking on Digital Platforms 15th November

Reviewed November 7, 2021 (screener provided by Signature Entertainment ). Rating: Cert 15. Running time: 79 min. 

PRODUCTION: A Läsk production. In association with Sveriges Television (SVT) and with the support of the Swedish Film Institute. Producers: Erik Andersson. Executive Producer: Federico Ambrosini.

CREW: Director: Frida Kempff. Writing: Emma Broström. Editing: Erik Andersson & Erika Gonzales. Cinematography: Hannes Krantz. Music: Martin Dirkov.

CAST: Cecilia Milocco, Albin Grenholm, Ville Virtanen, Krister Kern, Alexander Salzberger, and Charlotta Åkerblom.

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