Review: Knocking (Sundance 2021)

Title: Knocking
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Director: Frida Kempff
Starring: Cecilia Milocco, Albin Grenholm, Ville Virtanen
Runtime: 1 hr 18 mins

What It Is: Molly (Milocco) has been allowed to leave the psychiatric ward she’s been living in. When she moves into a new apartment some strange things begin to happen. Knocking can be heard mysteriously around in her building…but where exactly is it coming from. That’s what Molly wants to find out, what she needs to find out. But what’s really going on inside her head. Are the knocks real? What is real right now. Her struggles with her mental health continue to plague her but will they be her downfall?

What We Think: This is a film that is quite lucky it’s only 78 minutes. It still struggles to fill that time in a way that comes off wholly uninteresting. Cecilia Milocco is much better than this film allows. She gives a turn that really sticks with you throughout. It is she that commands and stays with you through it all. Many of the problems with this stem from the pacing Frida Kempff is really trying to work this but she doesn’t quite pull the material together enough for even this short runtime to work.

Our Grade: C+, A weak script, and somewhat lost direction leaves the actors out in the cold. Whatever atmosphere was crafted gets muddled and instead of working out well it just stunts the growth of the plot and its points. That said I really did enjoy portions of this and had the emotions been a little bit more well thought out and introduced this easily could’ve caught me by surprise. What’s left is a film that’s only somewhat interesting and a premise that doesn’t realize itself near enough. This is a thriller that is less than thrilling see it if you really want to. Otherwise, you do not need to see this one.