‘Knocking’ Review: Stylish Swedish Gaslighting Thriller Keeps Its Protagonist on Edge, But Not the Audience

‘Knocking’ Review: Stylish Swedish Gaslighting Thriller Keeps Its Protagonist on Edge, But Not the Audience
The word “gaslighting” is so broadly used these days — its definition, in some quarters, having evolved into a synonym for “lying” — it’s almost reassuring to see a psychological thriller that cleaves to its original sense. No one else gets much reassurance, however, in “Knocking”: a Swedish creeper that, as in “Gaslight” nearly 80 years ago, sees a frail female protagonist’s mental health history weaponized against her, making her question her grip on a possibly sinister reality.

Painted in sweat and lit low in dusty browns and rich, fermented yellows, Frida Kempff’s stylish debut feature initially imbues its old-school premise with enough needling atmosphere to suggest something unnerving and unexpected afoot. The surprise, then, is its lack thereof. “Knocking” may tweak its familiar premise for a #MeToo-era critique of society’s inclination to disbelieve women, but never quite pulls the rug out from under us: Crisply made and gutsily performed as it is,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

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