Cinema/TV, Film Notes

FrightFest review – Koputus (The Knocking)

FrightFest review – Koputus (The Knocking)

Some years after their father was axe-murdered and their mother disappeared, three siblings (Inka Kallen, Pekka Strang, Saana Koivisto) return to their childhood home – in a remote woodland area – to sort out their inheritance … and one of them seems likely to benefit from a darker legacy, connected with local legends about forest spirits, the noises made by trees, and bloody rings in the wood which mark periodic atrocities.

This Finnish film from Joonas Pajunen and Max Seeck is a gloomy family drama with three variously inadequate and troubled souls drawn back together by an obligation that naturally doesn’t turn out well for anyone.  It’s got a lot of ominousness going for it – Matilda (Koivisto) keeps remembering details of her childhood trauma, which involves a handy cage she was found locked in after the murder – with foreshadowing that points the way to a downbeat ending – though the punchline is ingenious and surprisingly poetic.  It’s mostly subtle chills and character beats, but a bark-skinned woodwitch with an axe does show up.

Here’s the FrightFest listing.


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