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Don’t Knock Twice

Posted on February 6, 2017

Don’t Knock Twice and the New Horror of Motherhood

Dawn Keetley

2016                R                     UK                  Caradog W. James                  95 mins.

Don’t Knock Twice is an interesting film that is lifted up by its exceptional performances and cinematography and by the way it taps into what I think is an intriguing new trend in horror film: the horror of motherhood.

Directed by talented Welsh filmmaker Caradog W. James (best known for the 2013 sci-fi film The Machine), Don’t Knock Twice centers on the relationship of Jess (Katee Sackhoff, of Battlestar Galactica) and the teenage daughter she abandoned nine years ago, Chloe (Lucy Boynton). The film opens with Chloe and her boyfriend Danny (Jordan Bolger) being inexplicably drawn to a house nearby where a woman named Mary Aminov used to live. Convinced that, years ago, she kidnapped and killed a boy who lived in their group home, Chloe and Danny harassed her long after the police decided they had no case. They drove her, it seems, to suicide, and now a legend has flourished that something demonic lives in her house. If you knock twice on the door, it will come to get you. Danny, of course, knocks twice. And then the demonic witch comes to get him. In terror, Chloe flees to her mother’s home—even though she had earlier brutally refused Jess’s plea that Chloe come live with her. But the witch pursues Chloe even to her mother’s house—and so Jess ends up fighting for her daughter’s life.

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