Tracey: The most surprising thing about “Don’t Knock Twice” is that this is a horror movie that passes the Bechdel test. Let’s clap for that, everyone! Jess, (played by Katee Sackhoff, bad-ass Starbuck herself!) is an sculptor trying to repair a relationship with her estranged daughter Chloe, (Lucy Boynton). Chloe is being pursued by a terrifying demon that may, or may not be, the ghost of an old lady that was driven to suicide by Chloe’s bullying. There are some infuriating moments here: the mother is thick as bricks – poor Chloe repeatedly tries to explain that she’s awakened the old lady’s ghost, what with knock-knocking at the door of the old lady’s haunted house once too many. But somehow Starbuck rolls her eyes and keeps on blaming Chloe for EVERYTHING that goes wrong. We get that the mother is an artsy burn-out, but how much evidence of poltergeist activity does she need before giving her daughter a break?
Beatricia: An endlessly loving mother that has to deal with an ungrateful, surly teenager who wears inappropriate outfits? Why, how far-fetched, what will they think of next.
Hank: Tracey, kiddo, you know I would totally believe you if you told me there was a skinny creepy-crawly ghost-lady terrorizing you, and I would still love you unquestioningly and I wouldn’t even ask you if you were on drugs, but if you WERE on drugs, you know you can open up and we can… (whips out a pamphlet) “start a dialogue about the dangers of Oh-Pee…Oh-Pee-Droids? Opi-OH-ids.” Yes, that’s it. We can work through this together, kiddo!
Trent: This is what would happen if “It Follows” and “The Babadook” got laid at that hotel from “The Shining” and then had a “Blackcoat’s Daughter” and then that daughter said “Old Bloody Mary” three times in front of the mirror from “Oculus.”
Grandpa Felicius: The most frightening thing this movie can conjure is the spectre of old age? Sickening.
Cousin Franz: There is an interesting dynamic between Katee Sackhoff and Lucy Boynton, (who was indeed in “The Blackcoat’s Daughter” playing more or less this same role.). But if there’s a spectre here, it’s the vaguely-there ghost of a mythology that we’re supposed to buy into. How does anyone know that “if you knock once,” this happens, and “if you knock twice,” this other thing happens? Or that the curse will be broken if people do X but not Y or Z? Where do all the bizarre rules come from? There’s half a good movie here, shrouded in gauzy nonsense.
Blurbarella: “Terrifying– far-fetched–creepy-crawly– times. Frightening–nonsense.”
Two out of Six Cherries