The Knocking Movie Ending Explained (In Detail)

The measured but gloomy plot of the film The Knocking (Koputus) talks about how powerless man is in front of nature. At first glance, the film by Jonas Pajunen and Max Seek seems like a typical horror film, but to a greater extent it is still a mystical thriller-drama with eco-motives and an unpredictable ending. The Knocking (2022): plot analysis, ending explanation, meaning of the film, similar movies.

Country: Finland, Estonia

Genre: horror, thriller

Year of production: 2022

Director: Jonas Pajunen, Max Seek

Actors: Pekka Strang, Inka Kallen, Mikko Leppilampi

Slogan: “No one will hear you here”

What is the movie about

Brief description of the content of the film. In the center of the plot of the film is brother Mikko and two sisters – Matilda and Maria. After a long separation, they get together in Helsinki at a notary to sign inheritance documents. Many years ago, the boys lost their parents: their father died under strange circumstances, and their mother disappeared. After 10 years, the woman was declared dead and all her property (a house in the middle of nowhere) went to her children.

Pekka Strang of the film The Knocking
Pekka Strang as Mikko, Saana Koivisto as Matilda, Inka Kallen as Maria. Still from the film The Knocking

Maria wants to put her father’s house in order and put it up for sale. Matilda also wants to go with her. This surprises Maria because many years ago, when the tragedy occurred, Matilda was found sitting in a cage. The brother and sister, who were no longer in the house at that time, were not eager to take her with them. However, according to Matilda, there is no point in worrying, because she remembers practically nothing.

Soon Maria receives a call from a realtor, who reports that the house can already be put up for sale. Putting away the phone, Maria draws attention to a strange elderly woman who is crossing the road. When the guys get there, it turns out that in addition to the house, they also own about 100 hectares of forest – by selling it, they will receive a decent amount.

Maria and Matilda talk about the past, but their conversation is interrupted by Mikko. He is a dendrologist and almost immediately he manages to determine that the trees in the forest look, to put it mildly, unusual. The log house shows that at first they seemed to have died, and then began to grow again. According to the young man’s interpretation, this does not happen in nature. That is, Mikko concludes, it’s still not worth hoping to sell the forest at a high price.

Matilda involuntarily recalls a scene from the past: her mother and her friend are walking through the forest and stopping to listen to the trees. According to the mother, this forest is special: nature spirits and even goblin live in it. The girl also remembers that her father and mother argued strongly over this forest. The point of their squabbles was that the father really wanted to sell the land, but the mother was against it.

In the evening something strange begins to happen. Maria receives a call from a young man who introduces himself as her son. But the fact is that the girl, at the insistence of her father, once had an abortion and now cannot have children. Maria is frightened, but she thinks that the answer to the strange call is simple: it’s just a headache associated with extreme fatigue.

old family house of the film The Knocking
Still from the film The Knocking

Meanwhile, Mikko returns from the forest. He is worried: he heard strange knocking noises inside the trees. Maria wants to leave here as soon as possible, but her brother says that they will have to stay here overnight: there will be no more ferries today, otherwise there is no way to get to the “mainland”.

In the evening, sitting while sorting out his father’s papers, Mikko tells his sisters that he has divorced his wife. The reason for their separation was his mistress who was pregnant from him. The child, according to the young man, was not born…

Suddenly at night, Matilda remembers what happened in her father’s house many years ago. Without saying anything, she runs away into the forest. The brother and sister get into the car and go looking for her. Suddenly Maria notices an elderly woman walking towards them – the same one she saw at the gas station just now. To avoid a collision, Mikko twists the steering wheel and the car ends up crashing into a tree – fortunately, without any serious consequences.

Still from the film The Knocking (2022)
Still from the film The Knocking

Getting out of the car, Mikko approaches the old woman. She says that the forest knows how to defend itself and, if he doesn’t want problems, he should throw the idea of ​​cutting down trees and selling land out of his head. The young man does not understand anything… At that moment, a goblin appears behind him and hits him on the head.

Meanwhile, Matilda returns to the house and climbs into the cage. Terrible memories cover her again: it turns out that as a child she encountered the frightening forces of the forest, which took her mother and killed her father.

At this moment, Maria appears in the room and tells her sister that she will definitely help her. They walk through the forest and see their mother. However, she is no longer a person, but a forest monster… She hugs Matilda, and then kills her by hitting her on the head with an ax. Then she puts the weapon in Maria’s hands and she, as if under hypnosis, goes deep into the forest…

The Knocking Ending explained

Explanation of the ending of the picture. Mikko and Matilda suddenly wake up. Each of them is located in a separate closed space. They start knocking on the walls and calling for help. But no one hears them, and from the outside it seems that it is just the wind walking through a gloomy forest.

Probably the meaning of the ending of the film The Knocking is that the forest punished its “enemies”: those who wanted to cut it down became part of it.

By the way, after the credits there is a small mise-en-scène. We see a notary who invites a woman and a girl to his place and informs them that they have inherited land with a forest. On his forearm he has a tattoo depicting the ring of a cut down tree. It turns out that history is repeating itself?..

The meaning of the film The Knocking

In recent years, Finnish cinema has been confidently moving around the planet. This especially applies to thrillers and horrors, which are released in many countries. One of these films is a film with the intriguing title The Knocking (the domestic translation is inaccurate – translated from Finnish “Koputus” means “Knock”).

Above all, this film is an effective genre exercise. Directors constantly play with formats, deceive the viewer’s expectations and confuse them. The first (rather prosaic) half of the film is more like a detective thriller. In the middle it resembles a classic “ghost story” about a family curse, and at the very end the film transforms into an atmospheric environmental folk horror.

Yanina Berman of the film The Knocking
Yanina Berman starred as the old woman. Still from the film The Knocking

However, The Knocking is not just an atmospheric movie. You can literally touch it: gloomy trees, dead bark, viscous resin, the smell of damp earth, the coolness of the morning fog and quiet tapping – all this seems very close, real… The action of the picture takes place in two time layers at once – in the past and present. Moreover, the past returns to the brother and sisters little by little, layer by layer – as if the annual rings of trees are falling away one by one. As in any slow burner, the action here unfolds slowly, leading the viewer to an unexpected and very frightening ending – after which it is unlikely that one will be able to perceive the forest noise as before.

One of the main roles in this film belongs to the forest. It is endowed with important symbolism and contains hidden meaning. The fact is that forest occupies more than 60% of Finland. The Finns are even called “forest people” because the way of life of many of them is connected with this part of nature. However, even those who do not directly depend on it have a strong connection with it.

Many families in the country have owned forests for centuries and passed them on by inheritance, that is, they literally grow together with their land. Therefore, the forest is a metaphor for Finnish national identity. You can’t refuse it (that’s what the heroes are trying to do), otherwise trouble will inevitably happen…

On the one hand, The Knocking is a beautiful and scary northern story, oppressive with claustrophobia, melancholy and the tart smell of autumn. On the other hand, this is a piercing, lively film, crafted like a handicraft made from wood. But at the same time, it is also a universal statement on the topic of finding one’s place in life and self-determination. Giving up your roots is the same as trying to escape from yourself. This is, if not impossible, then very difficult. This is probably the point of the film.

wood craft of the film The Knocking
Still from the film The Knocking

Similar films

Here are several films that are somewhat similar in plot and meaning to The Knocking:

  • “Village in the Forest” (UK, 2019). The newlyweds arrive in a remote village. Soon the devilry begins.
  • “Until the Devil Calls” (Indonesia, 2018). This picture is a unique interpretation of the legend about the sale of the soul to the unclean.
  • “Cursed place” (Germany, 2013). Teenagers in search of adventure come to an abandoned military base.

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