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Knocking (Yellow Veil Pictures) Blu-ray Review

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    Ian Jane
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  • Knocking (Yellow Veil Pictures) Blu-ray Review



    Released by: Yellow Veil Pictures
    Released on: December 28th, 2021.
    Director: Frida Kempff
    Cast: Cecilia Milocco, Albin Grenholm, Alexander Salzberger, Krister Kern
    Year: 2021
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    Knocking - Movie Review:

    This 2021 picture from Swedish filmmaker Frida Kempff tells the story of Molly (Cecilia Milocco), a woman who has just recently been released from a psychiatric hospital for reasons never really disclosed to the audience. She soon takes up residence in a new apartment and soon after she moves in, she starts hearing knocking. This knocking starts to get more frequent and eventually it starts waking her up. This escalates when she starts hearing screaming as well.

    Molly, who is fairly isolated from the outside world and lives alone, does what she can to try and sort this out. She talks to her neighbors and even the local police, but no one else is hearing these things and when she explains that she is, nobody really seems to believe her or take her seriously. It isn't too long before this obvious source of stress starts wreaking havoc with Molly's already fragile psyche and we, the audience, are left wondering if she's really experiencing all of this or if she maybe shouldn't have been let out of that institution at the beginning of the movie.

    Knocking is quite an interesting, and at times, quite intense, thriller. It's almost minimalist at times in that so much of it takes place inside Molly's simple apartment and so much of it revolves around Milocco and Milocco alone, but it works very well. We see the vast majority of the movie from Molly's point of view, sometimes literally, and as her tensions rise, the camerawork and sound design to an interesting job of, sometimes with great subtlety, letting us know when things are starting to crack. The technique that's done to make this happen is employed well, it isn't over done or ham-fisted but instead serves to bring us into Molly's world a little bit more than it would have had the movie been made in a different fashion.

    Cecilia Milocco is very strong in the lead. She's completely believable here, convincingly fragile in a lot of ways. We totally buy her as the type of person who might be meek, a bit reclusive and just a little out of step with mainstream society. At the same time, we like her and want things to work out for the best for her. She truly believes that the cries she hears are from someone who needs help, and she wants this person to get that help.

    The film stretches its rather simple premise maybe a bit longer than it should have (and it only runs just short of eighty minutes) and at times it feels like it owes a bit of a debt to Polanski's classic Repulsion, but for the most part, Knocking works well and proves to be an interesting, and at times, quite suspenseful picture.

    Knocking - Blu-ray Review:

    Yellow Veil Pictures brings Knocking to region A Blu-ray in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer taking up 17.3GBS of space on the 25GB disc and framed at 1.66.1 widescreen. No qualms with the picture quality here, the digitally lensed feature looks very strong. The odd color choices that light the main apartment setting are reproduced nicely and detail is pretty solid, even in the film's many darker interior scenes. Black levels are strong and there are no noticeable issues with compression to note.

    Swedish language options are provided in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound with removable subtitles provided in English and Spanish. Obviously a lossless track would have been ideal but the 5.1 mix is still pretty solid, offering nice use of the rear channels to bring effects and the score into the mix quite effectively. The track is balanced and clean sounding, no hiss or distortion ever audible during playback.

    Extras start off with a quick two minute introduction by Frida Kempff that sets up the film. More interesting is a twenty-seven minute Q&A session from the Sundance Film Festival with Kempff, Milocc, producer Erik Andersson and cinematographer Hannes Krantz that goes into the making of the picture in a fair bit of detail. It covers what it was like on set, shooting the film, motivations during filmmaking and quite a bit more. Krantz's input is particularly interesting as he explains a bit about how the camera work in the film intentionally replicates the headspace of the Milocc's character.

    Two of Kempff's early short films are here, the fourteen minute Bathing Micky from 2009 and the twelve minute Dear Kid from 2016. They're interesting to see but aren't quite on the same level as the feature. A theatrical trailer and teaser trailer for the feature finish up the supplements on the disc but inside the clear keepcase is a twelve page full color booklet that contains an essay by writer/critic Anya Stanley that is quite interesting. This release also comes packaged with some reversible cover sleeve artwork.

    Knocking - The Final Word:

    Knocking is a very well-made thriller: tense, dramatic and compelling. The Blu-ray release from Yellow Veil Pictures gives the film a very nice presentation and a few extras worth spending the time to explore. Recommended.

    Click on the images below for full sized The Knocking Blu-ray screen caps!





























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