Film Review: Don’t Knock Twice

Caradog James’ Don’t Knock Twice is genuinely creepy for a portion of the duration. However, a strong and mysterious first half makes way for a less than compelling send half.

Jess tries to regain custody of her now-teenage daughter Chloe. After Chloe and her friend test an urban legend, she flees to her estranged mother’s house. However, trouble follows her there…

Don’t Knock Twice is a horror film which offers mystery and an unnerving atmosphere. Director Caradog James generates sufficient mystery, with a number of factors at play. The film is genuinely creepy for the first hour. As incidents become more threatening, there is genuine tension. There are some jumpy moments which deliver the scares.

The film suggests several causes for the supernatural activity. As the film progresses, a number of aspects are brought to the fore. The mystery of the supernatural activity combines with a testing relationship between the two protagonists. The demonic activity is not particularly innovative. However the appearance of a case from the past adds a more of an interesting dynamic.

The final third of the film is a bit disappointing. It feels as if the writers had run out of ideas, with the mystery resulting in hackneyed explanations. It feels as if the film doesn’t really know the firm direction it wants to take, so throws a bit of everything in. The finale sequence does have some redeeming qualities, however.

The sound design in Don’t Knock Twice is gloriously overblown. Nevertheless, it can be very effective in places. There are some good shots in the film, helping to set the tone. Katee Sackhoff and Lucy Boynton have good chemistry as mother and daughter Jess and Chloe. Don’t Knock Twice has some decent flourishes, and is a sufficiently entertaining watch.

Don’t Knock Twice is in cinemas and on demand from 31 March 2017 and on DVD 3 April.

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