Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Ominous October - Knocking (2021)

Movie Name/Year: Knocking (2021) 
Genre: Thriller
Length: 78 minutes
Rating: Unrated
Production/Distribution: Läsk, Sveriges Television (SVT), Swedish Film Institute, Yellow Veil Pictures
Director: Frida Kempff
Writer: Emma Broström, Johan Theorin
Actors: Cecilia Milocco, Albin Grenholm, Ville Virtanen, Krister Kern, Alexander Salzberger, Charlotta Åkerblom
Blurb from IMDb: A woman leaves a psychiatric ward after a nervous breakdown, only to start hearing mysterious knocking sounds in her apartment.
Selina’s Point of View:
The answer to whether or not I liked Knocking is a bit complicated.
I first heard about this flick long before the emergence of the trailer and I was enamored with the plot. As someone who has serious issues with certain sounds, I know that something based around a sound one can’t control can get pretty harrowing. I was expecting a deep psychological thriller.
The psychological thriller part was on point, but it was also a social commentary and a VERY slow burn.
I’ve called movies slow burns before, but this one took that term to the extreme.
Knocking is relatively short for a full-length feature film, sitting at just over an hour long. Whenever you have a project that compact, you expect it’s impossible to be slow. In this case, the story seemed as thought it was still stretched to meet the runtime. Things didn’t start to get even mildly interesting until about 35 minutes in. Even then it was only mildly.
If I’m honest, I didn’t start to really enjoy it until about an hour in.

That’s a problem in a film this short.
Once things picked up, the social commentary was very in-your-face. I didn’t hate it, though. The message was an important one.
Following that, was a pretty decent ending.
A lot of the time, a good ending can save an otherwise boring film. In this case, I’m not so sure the good parts outweigh how long it took to get there.
I find that I didn’t hate Knocking. I definitely wouldn’t watch it again, though. I think it all depends on how tolerant you are of an exceptionally slow build up.
If you want to see for yourself, Yellow Veil Pictures will be releasing Knocking in theaters on October 8th, and on-demand October 19th.

Cat’s Point of View:
I find myself feeling rather ill at ease, following the credits for Knocking.  It’s a sensation of frustration, sadness, and uncomfortable empathy that continues to haunt me.
Knocking isn’t going to be for everyone. If you’re looking for gore and fast-paced thrills, this is not the place to find it. This movie, however, is a slow psychological burn. I have so many questions even after Knocking’s conclusion. I’m just going to have to squash my curiosity, though. This isn’t the sort of film that gets a sequel.
Cecilia Milocco (Involuntary, The Circle, Shop) is bloody brilliant in her role as Molly. Knocking is a production of little dialogue. Most of what is going on is focused on Molly and her own inner struggles. It’s just her and her environment the majority of the time. Milocco pretty much gives a master class on carrying such a scene. I’m buying every bit of what she’s sellng on screen.
While I understand the need for the pacing in Knocking, it is almost painfully slow for me. I had to have something to fidget with in each hand to keep from reaching for my phone. I can’t say that would be the same for everyone. My ADHD plays a significant part with that. My experience is a bit meta, the more I think about it. Here I am struggling with my own mental issue during a movie about a woman trying to get her life back together after a mental breakdown.


There is only one segment of Knocking that could be seen as a negative. It’s a short sequence that transcends the term ‘shaky-cam’ and goes right into disorienting. I get it, though. It’s likely there to highlight Molly’s feelings of bewilderment, fear, and frustration in the moment. It is very effective -- just not my cup of tea.
That being said, Knocking joins the modern cinema movement to shine a light on mental illness and both raise awareness and fight the social stigma that remains today. As a society, we’ve come a long way from locking mentally ill and neurodivergent people in secret rooms or shipping them off to sanitariums. We still have a bit further to go in understanding our fellow people that are simply wired differently. Knocking illustrates that bit of social commentary as well as the compounded situation of a woman fighting to be taken seriously as those around her plainly write her off as ‘hysterical.’
If you enjoy psychological twists and turns with a side of mystery, Knocking might just be the right ominous addition to your October viewing. 

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 82%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 6.1/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 3/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating3/5
Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: PG-13
Movie Trailer:

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