While not used quite as often as creatures like vampires, werewolves, or zombies, witches are one of the oldest traditional villains in horror film history. The popularity of witch-based horror seems to ebb and flow over time, but each decade tends to give fright fans at least one or two really great entries into the subgenre, such as Italian horror master Dario Argento’s 1977 classic Suspiria, or the 1999 found-footage indie darling The Blair Witch Project.
Witch-centered horror films recently got a huge jolt in the arm via Robert Eggers’ 2016 feature debut, entitled simply The Witch. While The Witch was not without its detractors, many held it up as one of the most scary and/or unsettling films of the year, and a prime example of how to tell a slow burning horror story that doesn’t rely on the current Hollywood standard of throwing a jump scare at the audience every five minutes or so.
The next entry into the witch-centered horror arena is the UK production Don’t Knock Twice, directed by Caradog W. James and written by the duo of Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler. Distributed by IFC Midnight, Don’t Knock Twice has just gotten its first trailer, which can be watched in full above. While the cast is likely to be mostly unknown to American audiences, the two leads are played Battlestar Galactica vet Katee Sackhoff, and Lucy Boynton, who recently appeared in the Netflix horror flick I Am the Pretty Thing Who Lives in the House.
Plot-wise, Don’t Knock Twice stars Boynton as Chloe, a troubled teenager who unwisely decides to a put a creepy urban legend about the house of an old witch to the test. Knock once to wake her from her bed. Knock twice to raise her from the dead. Needless to say Chloe does indeed knock twice, putting her in the crosshairs of the evil undead being. Incorrectly assuming that getting out of dodge might help, Chloe heads off to the isolated home of her estranged mother (Sackhoff), a recovering addict who gave her up to the foster care system. Naturally, this does nothing to dispel the supernatural target on her back.
Unlike Eggers’ aforementioned The Witch, Don’t Knock Twice looks to be a lot more upfront about its scare tactics, and thus might please those who found that film to be too slow-paced and measured. Still, there does look to be major potential for some creepiness in Don’t Knock Twice, at least based on what the trailer presents. The horror fan community is always hungry for new content to champion, so here’s hoping director James and company have crafted something worthy of gaining such praise.
Don’t Knock Twice will hit theaters and VOD February 3, 2017.
Source: IFC Midnight
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