Knock Knock





With Knock Knock, the newest film from horror genre director, Eli Roth (Cabin Fever; Hostel), I'm forced to guess what his end game is. The long explanation is that maybe this is a sexual thriller that could teach a lesson about relationships and monogamy for men. The short explanation is that this is torture porn. Either way, it is not an enjoyable experience.

Keanu Reeves plays Evan Webber, a married father of two, who lives in a posh California home with his artist wife and his Aryan looking children. He is an architect, who spends his time at home, living his DJ glory days with his old vinyl collection. One night, when the wife and kids take a trip to the lake for the weekend, leaving dad at home with their dog (why do we keep putting Keanu in the care of dogs? Reference: John Wick) to “get work done”, a pair of mysterious woman arrive on his doorstep in the pouring rain. They are lost, soaking wet, mascara running, barely wearing any clothes, and immediately something doesn’t seem right to the viewer, but Evan is unaffected and of course invites them in.

The premise of Knock Knock achieves what Roth, who co-wrote the script as well, has set out to do, which is deal in the absolutely insane. It is an update of the 1977 exploitation film Death Game, which makes one wonder why are there are two versions of this existing at all now?

Evan kindly lets the two ladies into his house; their names are Genesis (Lorenza Izzo) and Bel (Ana de Armas). The two of them can’t stop giving the “let’s have sex eyes” as he gives them a towel, hot tea, puts a wet cell phone in rice, puts their wet clothes in the dryer, and even calls them an Uber driver. I would call this above and beyond nice, especially because most people would never be this generous to any stranger. Unfortunately, they are not there for any of Evan’s generous hospitality, but more so, to tempt him into a ludicrous threesome in a steamy shower. From there it turns into a twisted game of blackmailing, torturing, and destroying Evan’s comfy family home. 

From the get go in this movie, Reeves’ performance is done with a Nicolas Cage/Cookie Monster combination of over acting, which is not necessarily a bad thing. It is actually sometimes fun, especially an epic tortured monologue where Reeves compares sex to free pizza. Free pizza, bruh!

His captors peak our interest at first with their games, but it quickly turn into a pair of bouncing off the wall, hopped up on sugar psychos, whose message is, that “all men are pigs”, especially “Father of the Year” Evan. Which lead me to question all of it: Why? The motivation behind the two woman’s actions is for what? For the pure sake of pleasure? Am I supposed to believe they are just the stereotyped “crazy woman”? They never ask Evan for money or a promise of a better life. Instead, as the movie hammers more of the torture on Evan, scene after scene. This actually tortures the viewers as well.

Knock Knock may be the type of movie that some critics might say, “It is so crazy that I loved it”. Let me tell you, it's not good. If the criteria of good films are the desire to watch it more than once, this one fails. It is the type of movie that I compare to films like The Human Centipede or that stupid remake of Evil Dead. An idea of an affair gone wrong works in Fatal Attraction, here it is just plain torture.

1 ½ Stars

Written by: Leo Brady