Swedish thriller Knocking on Inside Out festival’s door

The Festival

A couple of weeks ago we were back in the digital festival universe, this time checking out a handful of Nordic offerings at Toronto’s Inside Out Festival.

Inside Out Festival is Canada’s largest 2SLGBTQ+ film festival and the single largest promoter and distributor of 2SLGBTQ+ content in Canada – not only does it promote the content but it is dedicated to sharing the voices within the Canadian film community.

Fride Kempff’s Swedish thriller Knocking was the main Nordic feature film at the festival – we shine a light on this haunting thriller.

The Director

Knocking is Frida Kempff‘s debut narrative feature film and she certainly stakes her claim to be one to watch! Frida has previously worked on a number of short films and also an award-winning documentary called Winter Buoy which focuses on a group of nurses trying to help vulnerable pregnant homeless women start a new life for them and their newborns.

The Star

Cecilia Milocco delivers a magnetic performance where the camera hardly leaves her side. The actress has appeared in a number of films but this is the first where she is the lead in a feature and she does a fantastic job in sending the viewer into their own frenzy and confusion for her character. Both managing to convince the audience, then push them away, still ensuring you have sympathy for her character.

Here are two talents really bringing the best of each other and an exciting prospects to follow for the future.

Director Frida Kempff (left) and her star Cecilia Milocco (PHOTO CREDIT: Ida Zimmermana)

The Film

When first reading about this movie there was strong hints that this was a form of horror and there are without doubt strong horror elements in this movie, but this is not a jump out of your seat thrill ride kind of film. Knocking is a carefully crafted slow burn movie that places its faith in the performance of Cecilia Milocco and without doubt Cecilia delivers.

Cecilia’s character Molly is released from a psychiatric ward to start a new life but just as she begins to settle in she is disturbed by a knocking sound coming from the apartment above her. As Molly investigates the sound that only she seems to be able to hear, we wonder whether Molly has truly lost the plot or whether there is something a lot more sinister going on.

We don’t know why Molly had issues with her mental health, but an opening scene that is also featured a couple of times through the movie suggests something traumatic happening to her in the past. Is she lonely? Is she still traumatised? Has she genuinely lost the plot, made worse by a gruelling heatwave in the Swedish suburbs, or is she truly onto something?

It is a short film that packs a punch long after the credits have rolled – there is a lot to unpack and plenty of theories to digest. A fantastic piece of cinema with an outstanding performance from Cecilia; and Frida Kempff’s direction shows signs of a very exciting talent from behind the camera.

Review by Alex Minnis

Knocking is currently doing the film festival rounds – we will keep you posted of a future International release as soon as we know!

Nordic Watchlist were guests at Inside Out Festival’s Digital platform – be sure to see all the other great features and shorts they had at the festival – www.insideout.ca

Leave a Reply