‘Knocking’ Ending, Explained – Was there a Real Woman, or Was it Molly’s Illusion?


Knocking is a 2021 Swedish psychological thriller that premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. The film is directed by Frida Kempff and written by Emma Brostrom. The narrative keeps oscillating between reality and imagination, and with every passing scene, the line that distinguishes them becomes blurrier.

Cecilia Milocco plays Molly, who is in a constant battle with herself. The credibility of events that she believes to be facts, is questioned at each and every step. The narrative heavily depends upon the shaky camera movements and angles that give us visual imagery of what is happening inside Molly. It somewhere also communicates the obscure and chaotic mind space that she is in. Without further ado, let’s try to understand

‘Knocking’ Plot Summary

Molly had been released from a psychiatric ward as the doctors deemed her to be mentally fit. She starts living in an apartment all by herself. Molly is dwelling in a territory of skepticism, where the credibility of her actions is somewhere put to trial not only by others but by herself too. She checks twice before making a statement because of her history of mental illness.

But when she makes those statements after rechecking, she has complete faith and deems it true. Her doctor checks up on her every day, and Molly starts organizing her life bit by bit. She starts healing from the wounds of a loss that did have a significant impact on her mental health. But something happens that causes disruption in her mental space and leaves her doddering and searching for answers.

The Knocking

One day at night, Molly hears a strange knock on her ceiling. There is a muffled voice of a woman too. It seems like the woman is asking for help. Molly straightaway goes to the floor above and checks if there is someone who is knocking. Residents give her a suspicious stare, and she comes down and sleeps.

The next day when it happens again, she calls the cops as she cannot ignore the desperate whimpering that is calling for help. The cops do not find anything substantial and, somewhere, question the veracity of the whole story.

The knocking doesn’t stop, and Molly is frustrated when the dispatch system stops picking up her calls. One night she sees her neighbor throwing garbage late in the night. When she checks the garbage bag, she finds clothes stained in blood. Her assumptions are turned into belief. She barges inside the Police station as they won’t pick up her calls only to find that her neighbor was a cop himself. She leaves the station but decides to take matters into her hands.

What was the tragedy that happened in Molly’s life?

Molly often gets visuals of lying on a beach with a girl who seems to be her partner. She lost her that day, and the writers hint that she drowned in the sea. We see Molly looking for her in the vast blue water body that seemed to have engulfed, taking her into the deep abyss. The incident did have a traumatic impact on Molly, so much that she cannot cope with it. The visuals of that fateful day keep coming back to her.

Maybe that is why she empathizes with the whimpering girl and wants to save her at any cost. Molly knew all along that there was a possibility that people might not believe her, but she takes a leap of faith and goes to check for herself.

She goes inside the house of a neighbor whom she suspected from day one. Molly asks him to open a closed door. She goes inside to find an old lady and not the woman who was crying for help. Police authorities were informed that Molly was having a nervous breakdown and that she needed immediate assistance.

A fire breaks out in Molly’s apartment, and she is rescued at the last moment. Molly lies in Police custody, unconscious when something unforeseen happens.

‘Knocking’ Ending, Explained – Was there a Real Woman, or It was Molly’s Illusion?

When Molly was lying on a stretcher in police custody in a half-conscious state, we heard the voice on the Police radio. The voice says that they found a girl inside one of the houses. The girl was chained and was asking for help. So it proves that Molly was speaking the truth all along. There was actually a knocking sound and was not a figment of imagination. People thought Molly to be deranged when she started thinking that it might be some sort of morse code through which the woman is trying to give a message. But it was all true.

The woman gets saved by the Police in the end, and Molly finally gets respite from the tumultuous emotions that were waging war inside her.

In Conclusion

Knocking is a thoughtfully made film. The backdrop of a hot and sultry season, combined with the fabulous performances, makes it worth the watch.

Knocking (or Knackningar in Swedish) is a 2021 Psychological Thriller film directed by Frida Kempff.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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