Director: Caradog James
Distributor: Splendid Film
Duration: 90 minutes
Don’t Knock Twice (DVD) – Movie Review
There’s a thing about horror movie titles: they say it like it is. ‘Scream’, lots of people screaming. Cabin in the Woods, about a cabin in the woods, mostly. Don’t Knock Twice follows suit. It’s imperative that you Don’t Knock Twice, once is fine, twice, not so. Of course the main protagonist of the movie goes against it, or else there wouldn’t be a movie, and all hell breaks loose. Close the curtains, turn off the lights, volume to max and be ready for some freaky horror.
It all starts off pretty basic, a dysfunctional family tries to piece their bonds back together. The daughter Chloe (Lucy Boynton) is enlisted in the child protective custody, and tells mommy dear Jess (Katee Sackhoff) to go fuck herself and never come back. That night Chloe and her friend Danny (Jordan Bolger) hang out and watch some children play ding dong ditch. He then tells her he wants to show her something. So they go to the house of ‘Ginger’ (Pascale Wilson) and do what the legend tells them not to do. They knock on her door twice. The movie then follows the main horror movie trope and kills off the black guy first. This all happens fifteen minutes into the movie. With only him and Chloe as main protagonists, you’d think the demon awoken would make quick work of her and be done with it. It wouldn’t be a full feature movie if things would go down in about a third of the usual length though.
Usually the movie pits the main protagonist in a situation where no one believes her and she’s on her own, futilely trying to convince everyone around her she isn’t insane. Don’t Knock Twice tosses this trope out of the window as Chloe is aided by her mother who soon also sees the ‘Baba Yaga’ and they have to rely on each other and work together to outwit the demon and unearth the mystery around what happened.
There are some moments in the movie where the plot seems nonsensical at best, and the more you think about it, the less sense it makes. At one point in the movie Chloe runs off, away from her mother, and returns to the Child Protective Services. When Jess turns up, and basically kidnaps her from there, she (Chloe) responds with: ‘Thanks for coming back for me.’ Why would you even run off back to the Child Protective Services if it isn’t where you wanted to be, you have a cell phone, you could have called your mom and she could’ve gotten to you. Then again, the writers couldn’t quite fit a plug to the plot device in otherwise.
When it comes to the acting and delivery of lines, there are some really decently acted moments, and there are some moments where the writing falls flat. The moment where Jess asks for a cup and the response is: ‘I sense some aggression’, is ironic because Jess asked it in a rather sarcastic manner, but she didn’t refuse or raise her voice. It’s weird that the subtle sarcasm is seen as ‘aggression’. It’s only then that she really flies off the handle and starts raging, but it feels disingenuous. Like a pot with water nearly on the boil but afraid that it’ll boil over, she holds back. It’s strange that she would, seeing as with all she’s got on her plate you’d think she’d snap way more brutally than the way she does. The acting when she’s in pain is absolutely on point and you can almost feel what she’s going through in the later part of the movie, which is a feat. The end is an absolute kicker to be honest.
The musical score is definitely the movie’s strong point, as the use of it really strengthens the freaky moments and sets your teeth on edge. You just know shit is about to get real and the tension builds perfectly because of it.
The extras are a little scarce, there’s the ‘Behind closed doors’, ‘Inside Don’t Knock Twice’ and the official trailer, which is useless as the disc also contains the full movie.
Horror movies are a difficult genre to pull off decently. Don’t Knock Twice has just the amount of horror and manages to get under your skin by the use of the music and the story. If you are a horror fanatic, it won’t be anything new or extremely terrifying, but the story is interesting enough to warrant more than one viewing. If you are new to the horror genre then this movie won’t disappoint.