February 8, 2017

VOD Review: Don't Knock Twice (2017)

"The Monster did it better."

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3622110/
Much like the excellent 2016 flick, The Monster (Review HERE), Don't Knock Twice is more of an emotional story about the relationship between an estranged mother and daughter than it is a Horror flick.

Now, this IS a Horror movie, and it's got all kinds of supernatural hi-jinks going on throughout, but the real strength (or weakness, depending on your point of view) of the movie lies in the dynamic of that troubled relationship.

For us, it was a good thing, and actually, given the fact that the supernatural story that is at play here felt uninspiring, it was the saving grace of the movie.

There's a house by the freeway that used to belong to an old lady named Mary Aminov, who people thought was a witch. If you knocked twice on her door, you'd summon her pet Demon, and then probably die. Mary Aminov was also suspected of abducting and murdering some local kids, which makes the whole knocking twice thing even more terrifying. The poor woman ended up killing herself because kids wouldn't stop knocking on her door at all hours.

MURDERERS!
Jess is an artist and former crackwhore who gave her baby up to foster care many year ago so she could party. That baby, Chloe, is all grown up now, and she's understandably pissed off at the world, and especially the mom who abandoned her. So when Jess decides that she finally wants to have a relationship with Chloe, the reunion isn't very happy at all.

THE LOOK OF LOVE.
After telling her estranged mother to piss off, Chloe and her childhood friend (maybe boyfriend) decide to head to Mary Aminov's old house and knock twice on the door in the middle of the night (why would you do that?), because why not. Shortly thereafter, some Baba Yaga-looking crone comes along and kills her pal, and comes after Chloe, her terrified for her life. Naturally, because it's in the script, this drives Chloe into the arms of her estranged mother, and both of them have to figure out a way to end the curse and survive the vengeful spirit of Mary Aminov... or the Demon Baba Yaga... or whatever the hell it is that's trying to eat their souls.

"HADOKEN!"
As uneven as the movie is, Don't Knock Twice gets enough right to make it a decent watch.

First off, it's a visually impressive movie, with director Caradog W. James making the most out of the mundane script by at least giving us some shadowy figures, creepy locales, and impressive shots to feast our eyes on.... which were greatly needed to make us forget about how much of what we were seeing was not only overly-familiar, but confusing.

The real strength of the movie, and what keeps it from being a totally unwatchable bore fest, is the performances by its two leading ladies. Any geek worth their salt knows and loves Katee Sackhoff. From Battlestar Galactica to Longmire; Oculus to Riddick, the sassy blonde has been ass-kicking her way into our hearts for years now. She plays the troubled mother here with conviction, and she always makes whatever she's starring in, more watchable.

As for Lucy Boynton, her character was a bit too angsty for our liking, but she delivered a fine performance despite the fact. The interaction between her character and her mom basically carried the film and gave it some weight, if not depth. She's also delivers a great performance in The Blackcoat's Daughter (Review HERE), which you should check out when it finally hits VOD in a few weeks.

THERE'S NOTHING QUITE LIKE A MOTHER-DAUGHTER BONFIRE TO WARM THE SOUL.
Why would you knock on the door of a creepy old house that was rumored to belong to a witch? And in the middle of the night, no less? You deserve what you get, dummies!

OH, SOMETHING TERRIFYING DWELLS THERE? WHAT A SURPRISE.
There are some twists and turns in the movie that aren't very exciting and don't make a ton of sense; mainly because we don't get a lot of backstory on certain secondary characters, and so the impact of those "Holy shit!" moments isn't all that great. The Demon, the old woman who may or may not be evil, the child murders... there were too many little threads that could have lead to some great horrific moments, but none of them was explored fully enough.

Without spoiling anything, how is it that someone is "chosen" by the Demon in the first place? We were kind of scratching our heads at the end wondering why they were so special, and for what reason. Did this person know that they would be chosen, and just decide to interject themselves into the lives of others for the chance?

And as far as the child murders go, that whole reveal was easy to spot, and it just didn't work. That whole plotline should have been given some more depth. 

DON'T GIVE US THAT LOOK, KATEE. YOU READ THE SCRIPT BEFORE YOU SIGNED ON.
Not much blood or gore in this one.

BUT THERE IS A WHOLE LOT OF BONDING.
Nope. Nary a boob or a butt cheek is on display here.

BUT THERE ARE MANNEQUINS. CREEPY, POTENTIALLY DEADLY MANNEQUINS.
Don't Knock Twice is a decent movie that could have been much better dad its script been stronger, and focused most of its energy on one of the dangling plotlines that it never managed to succinctly weave together. If you're a fan of the cast, especially of Katee Sackhoff, then knocking once on this one won't be a bad move. Just temper your expectations.

C

Don't Knock Twice is available now on VOD.

http://amzn.to/2kIQS2Z

Katee and Lucy.

2 comments :

  1. I was like, man that title sounds familiar, lol, then I realized that I was watching it it just 2 days ago.
    Sometimes I get these movies that are so bad that they just can;t be watched. Not even the good kinda bad. This was looking like that only a few minutes into it, so I kinda skimmed through it to see if anything caught my eye.
    Except for the witch thing, this movie seem really off.
    I watch maybe 15 minutes of it spread out over the whole movie.
    That women with her baby with the accent that comes in then leaves when they saw the daughter? Like, that accent seems so over the top, don't know if it was real, but still was too much.
    And the ending, it was like they needed to have to go into this long scene to explain everything... Wasn't there animation? or pictures? IDK, seemed cheap. Not low budget. Just not put together right...

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  2. I watched the whole movie scratching my head. I can't say that I was bored but highly confused because the whole thing was such a mess. Estranged mother who might having a bad trip, sassy daughter who might having a bad trip, young and sexy step-father who had nothing to do besides of being handsome and a detective whose actions a
    were far far out there and those scenes might have been part of a bad trip, too. Sadly, old Mary wasn't that scary but rather pitiful. For a one-time-watch, it was bearable but those two leading ladies deserve better. Much better indeed.

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