Don't Knock Twice Review
Don’t Knock Twice is thoroughly terrifying stuff with its far-out supernatural story that will have you hiding under the covers. As a horror film, it succeeds with its intention of frightening its viewers. However, this film is not slick or tight, littered with scenes containing bad sound and lighting, wooden acting from some supporting cast members, as well glaring plot holes which proves distracting.
Jess (Katee Sackhoff), is almost enjoying her newfound wealthy life as a successful sculptor when she returns to the UK from the US, clean after a drug-addled youth and desperate to reconnect with her daughter Chloe (Lucy Boynton). The relationship, is, of course strained and Jess is surprised when Chloe announces she is in favour of moving in with her. Little does she know Chloe's real reason for staying with her: to escape a deadly curse, which has already claimed the life of her boyfriend, Danny (Jordan Bolger). Chloe and Danny in their reckless teenhood had visited an abandoned house, rumoured to be occupied by its ghost, an old lady witch named ‘Ginger’. Ginger is a known legend in the area, if you knock on the door of this abandoned house, the vengeful ghost of Ginger will snatch you away to hellish limbo. Now roping her mother into the whole thing, Chloe and Jess are having to take on this formidable and supernatural force together.
Sackhoff’s delivery as well as Sing Street's Lucy Boynton and her noteworthy performance as the spiky teenager are perhaps the film’s highlights. The remaining cast members provide a plethora of wooden, largely unconvincing, acting. Like the corporate looking, deadpan husband Ben (Richard Mylan) who proved to be unintentionally funny; or the over the top, try-hard Tira (Pooneh Hadjimohammadi) as Jess’s friend, or the corrupt policeman Boardman (Nick Moran), who proves totally irrelevant to the plot. Ginger is played by Javier Botet (RecMama) who makes use of his elongated body, moves on all four knobbly hands and knees to provide terror. The witch is wet and wears dirty hair half-hiding her facial features; a creature not dissimilar from The Ring franchise.
Furthermore, the cinematography is choppy, giving the film an overall amateur feel. This was mostly prominent in internal scenes such as Chloe’s half-way house, or Jess’s studio’s; the poor lighting and sound proved jarring. Despite this, there were favourable moments specifically the supernatural CGI ones, which came across believably such as the crying lady ghost, or the visually stunning supernatural parallel universe found in the basement of Ginger's house. There are obvious plot discrepancies, such as no mention of boyfriend Danny and his disappearance after ten minutes in, very little backstory to Ginger, (this time played by Pascale Wilson), perhaps that’s being held back for Don’t Knock Twice 2, or maybe a last-minute script change.
Don't Knock Twice is an enjoyable scary movie, and serves as some late Friday night viewing but doesn’t provide anything fresh or groundbreaking for the horror genre. In fairness, nothing is really new but an extension and a refinement of a previous idea. Perhaps it’s in the refinement that the film falls short, all these glaring inconsistencies are just too obvious to ignore.