Don't Knock Twice review by Adrijan Arsovski - Cinema Paradiso
Stumbling upon a decent horror flick without having any expectations beforehand is like a holy revelation to me, since most of the time the exactly opposite tends to happen. Don't Knock Twice turned out to be one of those rare instances where your expectations were exceeded by a significant margin: not bad for a film that I stumbled upon by pure chance. But, now that it happened, I’m glad that it did, since Don’t Knock Twice would’ve otherwise flew under my radar and the connection between me and this flick would’ve never be made. Which brings me to my next point.
The film is directed by Caradog W. James, which does a darn good job at getting the most out of the actors and translating the (potential) genuine terror from the screenplay onto the screen. To this extent, the story is very unpredictable and quite original I might add, where the suspense slowly builds up into a crescendo of a deeply-rooted human horror – i.e. the horror of the unknown. To add, the additional drama serves well to the overall premise and it is only a matter of time as to when other horror flicks would employ this narrative technique (hint: it’s very effective!).
In regards to the acting, Don't Knock Twice features some of the most surprising performances from indie actors I’ve seen in quite a while. Especially worth noting is that of the distracted but always on-the-ready daughter Chloe (Lucy Boynton); it seems that this actress has a knack for particularly interpolating her charm into some lesser-known creepy stories (‘February’) and in this light she doesn’t disappoint. Overall, all of the characters (including Chloe’s mother Jess, as played by Katee Sackhoff) are fleshed out thoughtfully and well-enough to warrant at least one viewing. Of course, the argument of whether or not these characters should’ve done this or that is irrelevant, because they only exist in the creators’ minds (well, except for Star Wars’ fanfiction), and THEY themselves decide on how things would play out. After all, it’s easier to criticize than to make a film, right?
One last point worth noting is that Don't Knock Twice doesn’t feature any CGI monsters or other laughable apparitions (probably due to budget constraints). However, this fact works in favor of the film and provides for a much-needed opportunity to ponder about the horrors of some unsaid and unexplained things. This is a nice change from your run-of-the-mill horror blockbuster that makes everything BUT scaring moviegoers. The effort is there however, so you’ll just have to substitute that which you don’t see for virtually anything that scares you at night (boggarts anyone?).
Overall, Don't Knock Twice is eerily atmospheric, so make sure you get your emotionally supportive friend with you before delving into this one.