It is 2 AM right now and I have just finished watching Eli Roth’s Knock Knock starring Keanu Reeves and I am not quite sure what I saw. Eli Roth has gotten a reputation for directing “torture porn” horror genre movies, he was given that title by a critic who reviewed his 2006 directorial debut Hostel. I haven’t seen any of his previous work behind the camera; I just know him as the “bear jew” with the baseball bat from Inglorious Basterds. I have nothing against the guy, I just don’t think I would enjoy a “Saw” type film where the characters are getting tortured unimaginably for the entirety of the film without a good plot. Knock Knock however could be a departure from his previous movies, and having seen the trailer a few months ago I couldn’t help but laugh at the plot. The trailer looks like a set up for an amateur porn with a twist and the fact that Keanu Reeves is the main star easily got my attention. While Keanu is not the greatest actor, he does have a unique screen presence (mostly in action movies) so I was interested to see what he could bring to a small movie that looks like it could go straight to DVD. Keanu Reeve’s character (Evan) who is a family man has the perfect life. One day, on a rainy night while his family is on vacation for the weekend, two attractive girls are knocking on his door asking for directions to a place they need to be and since its pouring out he lets them into the house and we have our set up for “Knock Knock”.
I was pleasantly surprised with the first half of the movie, the opening scene shows Evan playing with his kids naturally and I loved action star Keanu get soft and cuddly with his family; he made it plausible to think that “John Wick” would start over, relocate and have a family after that movie was over. The family goes to the beach for the weekend after celebrating father’s day, but Evan can’t join them because he has loads of architectural work that needed to be done. When these two attractive girls knock on his door soaking wet from the rain, you already know what is about to take place. However, from the moment he lets them into the house until he is seduced, there is a lot of tension built and lots of fun to be had. Especially when Evan is dodging these flirtatious girls, who are making bold comments about millennials’ sexuality, by moving from one couch to another, but still being playful with them. He shows off his vinyl collection and enjoys being seen as cool by these girls who are probably in their early 20’s. After all his efforts, the inevitable sex scene, which is teased in the trailer, happens and the movie takes a different tone. When he wakes up in the morning, these girls become completely different characters and afterwards grow ever so violent towards Evan for reasons that are not justified.
The movie delivers some thrills in the second half but it doesn’t finish strong. It is clearly trying to say something about infidelity when it comes to men, but it is not convincing when it is being brought to light by these two characters that aren’t believable as villains and become irritating after a certain point. Keanu Reeves has a lot of “Nicolas Cage” moments that involve a lot of screaming and cursing, and a great quotable line with him comparing “free pizzas” to being seduced by these girls which alone makes the movie worth checking out. This is not by any means a bad movie, it was quite entertaining and there was no gore which was surprising for an Eli Roth movie but it still had the torture element he is known for. I will probably never watch this movie again, but I did enjoy it for the B- movie that it is. (6/10)