Knocking (2021)

Director: Frida Kempff

Running Time: 78 Minutes

Starring: Cecilia Milocco, Albin Grenholm, Ville Virtanen, Krister Kern, Alexander Salzberger, Charlotta Åkerblom

Opening on a birds-eye view shot of a beach, Molly (Frida Kempff) sleeps on her towel while her partner goes for a swim. What appears to be a chilled-out moment carries unsettling undertones, as this is actually a memory the grieving Molly recalls while in hospital. After what's been described as a tough year, she's ready to be discharged and return to the wider world, yet her attempts to get on with day-to-day life are interrupted by a haunting knocking coming from an apartment upstairs.

What's initially irritating becomes more desperate, sounding like a cry for help, yet Molly doesn't know which apartment it's coming from. Her sights become set on a couple appearing to have domestic issues, which leads to Molly seeing and hearing chilling things, although there's an unsettling question hanging over it all. Are these events actually happening, or have viewers become lost in the mindset of an unreliable narrator? This is well reflected in the dizzying camera-work, a reflection of Molly's head-space which may be a break-down or exasperation from being disbelieved.

What's been crafted through Emma Broström's screenplay and Frida Kempff's direction isn't flashy, instead allowing tension to mount while patiently unveiling what's happening. Many conversations Molly has are showcased from the other participant's point-of-view, shrouding their identity from audiences and further highlighting Cecilia Milocco's excellent lead performance. This element works in the films favour, as accusations are racked with tension as to what route the film will take. Granted, cinema-savvy audiences will be able to guess a revelation involving one encouraging voice, although this doesn't detract from this phenomenally crafted feature that will leave one guessing until the very end.

Knocking is available on Digital Platforms from November 15th