Don't Knock Twice (film)

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Don't Knock Twice
Directed by Caradog W. James
Written by
  • Mark Huckerby
  • Nick Ostler
Music by James Edward Barker
Steve Moore
Cinematography Adam Frisch
Edited by Matt Platts-Mills
Production
companies
Seymour Films
Red & Black Films
Release date
22 September 2016 (Raindance Film Festival)
3 February 2017 (United States)
Running time
93 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Don't Knock Twice is a 2016 British supernatural horror film directed by Caradog W. James.

Plot[edit]

Jess, an American sculptor, meets with her estranged daughter Chloe and invites her to come live with her and her husband, a wealthy banker named Ben. Chloe refuses the offer. That night, she goes out with her friend Danny to a neighborhood empty of homes except for one, where legend says a demonic witch lives. The two knock twice on the door and leave. Upon returning home, Danny starts experiencing strange paranormal occurrences. The disturbances stop when Chloe video calls Danny. Before they can converse, Chloe hears knocks on her door and when she leaves to answer them, Danny is seen in the video being dragged by an unseen force. When the demonic spirit frightens Chloe in her foster home, she accepts Jess' offer and moves in with her and Ben.

Chloe is initially hostile to her family and only plans to stay for a few nights. Strange events start to unfold, beginning when Chloe finds a human molar in her Coriander soup. Jess is suffering from a nightmare about an old woman crying in her house. In her nightmare, the woman looks at Jess and says,"Przepraszam" then slit her own throat, which scares Jess awake. Jess tells Chloe about her dream and finding this description familiar, Chloe tells Jess about a woman they nicknamed "Ginger", a supposed witch that used to live next door. After her death by suicide, they began the urban legend that she would come and get you if you knocked twice on her door. Jess dismisses this as a bad dream. While sculpting, Jess' model Tira is disturbed by Chloe's presence and leaves, claiming that there is darkness around her. Chloe believes that it is Baba Yaga haunting her, but she is ignored by Jess.

While sculpting with Jess, Chloe slowly warms up to her mother. Jess returns to her workshop to see that her sculptures had moved and she believes that Chloe did it in the mere seconds that she had been out of the room to get two soft drinks. The next day, Jess returns to her workshop and discovers it in shambles with "She's mine" scrawled on the floor in what appears to be red paint. That night, the two are terrorized by the witch and they resort to burning down all the doors. The next day, a portal opened and Chloe is dragged inside before being saved by Jess. They meet with Tira, who says that Mary was never a witch and that she committed suicide. Because Chloe helped spread the false rumor of witchcraft, Mary's spirit wants revenge. Chloe panics and runs off, convinced by Tira's words that the disappearances were her fault and she spends the night on the street where she is found and returned to the foster home. Jess goes there to get her back and while there, she has a sudden epiphany that the true culprit of the disappearances was not Mary but Detective Boardman. As she and Chloe escape, they are surprised by the sound of two knocks coming from what appears to be a door to the sewers on the sidewalk which then suddenly opens, and Chloe is taken by the witch.

After Chloe's disappearance, Jess breaks into Mary's abandoned house, injuring her foot on an old nail. Unfortunately, she is caught and sent to the police station, but not before getting to knock twice at the door herself. Jess accuses detective Boardman of the crimes that Mary had been accused of, but gets no answers. When she is finally alone in her prison cell, she uses blood from her wounded foot to leave a message on the wall before being taken through the same portal that previously appeared. She wanders through the vast woods into a cave where she finds a cage hanging from the ceiling with Chloe in it. Jess gets her out and rushes to escape with her as the witch pursues them; meanwhile, Detective Boardman has arrived at the witch's house and proceeds to knock twice, causing the door to open on its own. He enters the home, having heard the sounds of Jess and Chloe's voices. Chloe and Jess are able to escape through the front door, but Detective Boardman is dragged inside by the witch.

Jess's husband Ben returns home, worried by the disarray he finds inside and immediately begins looking for Jess but is confronted by a mysterious figure in their bedroom. Jess and Chloe arrive back at home, noticing Ben's things in the entrance, but cannot find him anywhere. As Jess calls Ben's phone and leaves him a voicemail, Tira is shown leaving the property covered in blood with Ben's dead body in the trunk of her car. She changes her bloody clothes and the "Babayaga slave symbol" is shown on her chest for a brief moment before disappearing. Jess informs Chloe that Detective Boardman was the culprit of the crimes, but Chloe corrects her by telling Jess that while in the other world, she saw Michael and that he was indeed taken by Mary and fed to the Babayaga and that Detective Boardman was innocent. It's then that Jess recalls what Chloe told her about the Babayaga and its human slave and she realizes that Tira lied to her and tricked her into offering Detective Boardman's life to the Babayaga in order to transfer the demon to Jess.

Jess is surprised by a sudden burning sensation from her necklace and realizes that she now has the mark of the Babayaga. The room suddenly goes dark and there are two knocks at the door, as it opens, the figure of the Babayaga reaching towards them is the last thing seen before the film ends.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Don't Knock Twice received mixed to negative reviews. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave a 28% approval rating with a weighted average of 5.2/10.[1] Noel Murray of the LA Times called the film " a warmed-over hash of Candyman, Oculus, Insidious and a half-dozen other spook-shows."[2] Simon Abrams of rogerebert.com noted how "the makers of Don't Knock Twice never successfully flesh out their characters as people, leaving viewers to roll their eyes whenever characters open the wrong door."[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "DON'T KNOCK TWICE (2017)". Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  2. ^ Murray, Noel (2 February 2017). "Katee Sackhoff, Lucy Boynton square off mightily in the otherwise routine thriller 'Don't Knock Twice'". Los Angeles Times.
  3. ^ Abrams, Simon (February 3, 2017). "Don't Knock Twice Movie Review". www.rogerebert.com.1.5/4 stars