Please note the review below may contain minor spoilers - I've done my best to keep them to a minimum.
The latest film from writer and director Eli Roth - Knock Knock - a cautionary tale of answering your door to strangers at night, or something.
Eli has a penchant for telling more grisly and grotesque tales, but Knock Knock is definitely a miss in that department.
Knock Knock starts out harmless enough, a family of four wake up to a Fatherís Day breakfast, except Knock Knock quickly
rolls downhill as Keanu Reeves - portraying the film's main staple, Evan - does his best impression of Nicholas Cage in The Wicker Man
- seriously I have no idea what Keanu is trying to do, from the word go, heís somewhat off - never quite comfortable in the skin of this character.
As the rest of the family decide to have a mini-vacation for the weekend, Evan has to stay behind to finish off a project for work.
With his family now gone, night beckons and itís not long until Evan gets some new unwelcome visitors. A pair of rain-soaked teenage girls named
Genesis (Lorenza Izzo) and Bel (Ana de Armas) arrive on his doorstep, dressed for a night on the town and distressed that
theyíve now found themselves lost.
Evan, ever the gentleman - offers to let them in to dry-off inside and order a taxi to set them on their way -
whilst simultaneously shrugging off all their obvious romantic advances. But as the taxi arrives the two girls literally pounce on Evan and a
night of passion ensues.
As with any night of regret, the morning is always the worst, only this time Evan is perplexed to find the two girls making themselves at home in his
kitchen - making a bit of a mess. Things quickly begin to escalate as they both refuse to leave and begin trashing the house and its contents.
With a bit of forceful behaviour Evan manages to muscle them out, even driving them to a local destination - but as night falls once again, the pair return.
The main problem Knock Knock suffers from - aside from Keanuís performance - is the slapshot writing. Plot in Knock Knock
is moved forward forcefully, rather than through natural character actions, and it makes itself known in glaring fashion - leaving you bemused as
characters do the most idiotic things to your dismay. Itís a cardinal sin with movies, but could be forgiven if Knock Knock was a slapstick
horror that delivered the scares or gore Eli Roth is known for.
Unfortunately this movie offer's neither, being much more a slow paced thriller with
its 18 rating stemming from a few scenes of gratuitous nudity. After the movie ends not only will you be confused about just what the heck happened,
as the entire movie devolves into a lot of rambling about nothing - but youíll be scratching your head for who this movie is actually for,
as horror fans wonít find much to love here.
Thatís not to say Knock Knock doesnít have its positives. The two girls Genesis and Bel easily steal the show,
overshadowing Keanuís formulaic and sometimes outright laughable performance - especially Ana de Armas (Bel) switching in her
psychosis, from sweet girl to disturbed. The camera work likewise is well done, with some great introduction shots as we enter the house and
repeating later on with the added changes become apparent as the houseís destruction evolves.
Itís just a shame the plot wasnít more well thought-out. Knock Knock definitely feels like a movie made from an interesting idea but nothing beyond that.
If you are looking for a good horror movie or to be scared with a couple of friends look elsewhere. Knock Knock is a tame thriller with
what starts out an intriguing plot that descends into stupidity quickly.
Knock Knock is definitely a movie to rent or catch on-demand when it releases, but not worth the price of admission for cinema-goers.
Knock Knock is currently available to buy on Blu-ray & DVD via Amazon or on-demand via Amazon Video.
3rd July 2015
- 2 Out of 5 Stars
Nothing beyond premise
Good camera work
Genesis & Bel