Knocking (2021): A Non-Spoiler Review

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Poster for Knocking with an agonised face lower part and the word KNOCKING layered at the top.

🇸🇪 KNOCKING 🇸🇪

Knocking (2021) is a Swedish horror/mystery/thriller feature film available on Prime U.K. (no additional cost); AMC, tubi, Kanopy, Shudder, Fandor USA & Canada (plus Arrow in Canada). 1 hour 18 minutes and rated 15 UK. In Swedish with subtitles.

Premise:

A woman leaves a psychiatric ward after a nervous breakdown, only to start hearing mysterious knocking sounds in her apartment.

Cast:

Cecilia Milocco as Molly
Albin Grenholm as Per
Ville Virtanen as Kaj
Krister Kern as Peter
Alexander Salzberger as Atif
Charlotta Åkerblom as Judith
Tobias Almborg as Mover
Emil Almén as Police
Bengt Braskered as Florist
Karin de Frumerie as Police
Nilla Hansson as Woman
Kristofer Kamiyasu as Kristoffer
Meliz Karlge as Police

Crew:

Writers: Emma Broström, Johan Theorin
Director: Frida Kempff
Composer: Martin Dirkov
Cinematographer: Hannes Krantz
Editors: Erik Andersson, Erika Gonzales
Makeup Designer: Hanna Zätterström

Locations:

High-rise buildings, Dagsbergsvägen, Norrköping, Östergötlands Iän, Sweden

Review:

I love a good horror movie, thrilling thrillers and mysteries are just my thing so these are the reasons why I chose Knocking as my latest film to review. What did I make of this relatively short film which at just 1 hour and 18 minutes long it is far, far shorter than many films I watch (at least I anticipated it to not outstay its welcome…)?

There are a lot of positives about this movie so it is with these that I shall begin.

One of the impressive aspects of Knocking is the cinematography. I really liked the way that the camera was used and the framing of individual shots. The lighting is also extremely good along with the colour palettes and general design. Flashbacks and the way they are filmed work well.

One thing that struck me about this is that it reminded me of the German series Hausen both in location and general atmosphere.

The music is, I think, very good and it does help set the atmosphere and tries its best with tension etc. The sound design is another aspect that impressed me. I watch using a good sound system and this sounded great! The ambient sounds were often unsettling and slightly anxiety-inducing.

Performances too deserve a mention with that of Cecilia Milocco as Molly being exceptional and functioning to hold the piece together. Other performances too were uniformly good; I would expect nothing less from a cast of this calibre.

Where this film was less satisfactory for me were areas such as the lack of depth for all but the main character. I could see that the story is intended to highlight the lack of communication and that Molly is not listened to because she is mentally ill and possibly because she’s also a woman but perhaps combining both of these muddied the message. Also, although as I said I really liked the cinematography and what I could hear this film, as off-kilter and weird as it is, just didn’t have enough pressure and tension going on (no true pressure cooker atmosphere) and the denouement was a bit of a let-down.

For a film that is not long, it definitely felt it at times and I think the root of this is the pacing stemming from the story which is quite repetitive in many ways, not pushing substantially forwards with mostly thinly written characters.

That said, this is by no means the worst film I have watched and if you enjoy these genres then I still think it’s worth the watch. Visually and aurally it is a decent watch and the performances are solid.

Awards:

8 Nominations

Trailer:

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