Knock Knock (2015)

Knock Knock (2015)
  • Time: 95 min
  • Genre: Horror | Mystery | Thriller
  • Director: Eli Roth
  • Cast: Keanu Reeves, Lorenza Izzo, Ana De Armas


When a devoted husband and father is left home alone for the weekend, two stranded young women unexpectedly knock on his door for help. What starts out as a kind gesture results in a dangerous seduction and a deadly game of cat and mouse. A sexy new thriller from director Eli Roth and written for the screen by Eli Roth & Nicolás López & Guillermo Amoedo and story by Anthony Overman and Michael Ronald, Knock Knock stars Keanu Reeves as the family man who falls into temptation and Lorenza Izzo and Ana de Armas as the seductresses who wreak havoc upon his life, turning a married man’s dark fantasy into his worst nightmare. Knock Knock will be released by Lionsgate Premiere in theaters and On Demand on October 9th.

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  • Bad things apparently happen to Keanu Reeves when left home alone with a dog. Don’t worry, the dog remains unharmed in the actor’s latest film Knock Knock. Reeves, or rather his character Evan Webber, on the other hand, is certainly put through quite the wringer in director Eli Roth’s erotic and comedic home invasion horror film.

    Evan is a happily married architect who is first seen trying to have a morning romp with his wife Karen (Ignacia Allamand). She teases him about his long hair and his wounded shoulder, the latter the result of his helping out an attractive young woman. Before he and his wife can take things any further, their two kids burst into the bedroom to wish him a happy Father’s Day. Later he bids farewell to his brood as they head off to the beach for the weekend whilst he remains in their beautiful and expensive house to nurse his injury and work on his latest design project.

    As in last year’s No Good Deed and many other films of its kind, the tale truly begins during a rainy evening with a knock on the front door. Evan opens it to find two pretty young things on his doorstep. Their names are Genesis (Lorenza Izzo) and Bel (Ana de Armas), they are wet and shivering, and they are lost. He reluctantly invites them in and calls an Uber so he can help them be on their way. All he has to do is wait 45 minutes for the driver to arrive and then he can return to his boring evening.

    Of course, that would not be much of a movie and Roth and co-writers Nicolas Lopez and Guillermo Amoeda have more sinister intentions in mind. Genesis and Bel flirt openly with Evan, their tactile nature and freely shared sexual mores causing him much discomfort. They flatter him, cooing over how much younger he looks than his 43 years, how impressive his biceps are, what an amazing record collection he has, how remarkable it is that he has never cheated on his wife in the 14 years they’ve been together. Monogamy goes against man’s animalistic nature, Genesis says matter-of-factly whilst Bel talks of all the men with whom they have had sex.

    When the driver arrives and Evan goes to collect the women from the bathroom, he’s outraged to discover them naked and enticing him to have sex with them. He tries to resist but soon succumbs to temptation, engaging in a threesome as the driver departs. The fantasy turns into a nightmare when he wakes up the next morning to find that Genesis and Bel have thoroughly made themselves at home and have no intentions of leaving any time soon.

    Inspired by Peter Traynor’s 1977 low-budget exploitation flick Death Games (its leading ladies Colleen Camp and Sondra Locke serving as Knock Knock’s producer and executive producer respectively) and strongly resembling Michael Haneke’s 1997 psychological thriller Funny Games, Knock Knock is a refreshingly restrained offering from Roth, who is not exactly acclaimed for his subtlety. His camera glides through the narrow hallways of Evan’s house, which appears to be all narrow hallways, corners, and limited visibility, and establishes a solid current of suspense that pays off as Genesis and Bel’s anarchic agenda unfolds.

    The scenario has been smartly updated from Traynor’s film, but the film is not without its faults and lapses in believability. The women are fairly forthright about the game they’re playing, if not particularly forthcoming with its rules. Though the extreme punishment for Evan’s infidelity is the gleefully malicious engine of the film, it is difficult not to agree with Evan when he asks, “I’m a good person. I made a mistake. What’s the point of this?”

    Nevertheless, Knock Knock does satisfy thanks in large part to its main trio. Izzo and De Armas display good comic timing and sadistic menace as the girls gone wild. Reeves’ depiction of Evan’s confusion, anger, and fraying mental state is aces, generating both sympathy and laughter as he watches his life fall to pieces before his eyes.

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