Friday, March 17, 2017

Knock Knock (2015)

Director: Eli Roth

Writers: Eli Roth, Nicolas Lopez, , Guillermo Amoedo, Anthony Overman, Michael Ronald Ross

Composer: Manuel Riveiro

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Lorezna Izzo, Ana de Armas, Aaron Burns, Ignacia Allamand, Dan Baily, Megan Baily, Colleen Camp, Antonio Quercia, Otto

More info: IMDb

Tagline: One night can cost you everything

Plot: 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.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Nope.


Like Roth's film made right before this one, THE GREEN INFERNO (2013), I was somewhat excited to see this one.  On paper, just like INFERNO, this one sounded like it could be a good, exploitation-y thriller...until I saw it, that is.  When you get down to the essence of the story, it's quite simple and there's lots of room for some one-upsman fuckery.  For the most part, the film stays within the realm of reality but there are more than enough moments that removed me from to the point of questioning the characters' actions in the last half of the film.  20 minutes before the end Keanu has his screaming monologue, letting his anger and confusion out to his two captors.  It's not bad but the whole thing is ruined as soon as he compares their seduction of him to being "free pizza".  That these girls were able to do everything they did, and mostly with the murders, AND having eluded that he's not the first, it's all so preposterous.  OK, so you're probably thinking, "Hey, dude, lighten up.  This is an exploitation horror/thriller and these two psycho broads get naked for a couple of minutes."  Fine, but how do you explain how much time Roth spends outside of that exploitation element and clearly defines this as a home invasion thriller?  It's probably about 20% exploitation at best.  Roth wants to have his cake and eat it, too.

Reeves wasn't a very good choice for the role as it requires more dramatic range than what he delivers.  I like Keanu but in certain roles that suit his talents.  The ending, while kind of cool, is bullshit.  I love Keanu's head sticking out of the ground and that the girls get away with it but that's it.  You get the impression that his life is over - he will lose his career and his family.  The reality is that these women will be caught (their fingerprints are all over the house) and Keanu's story will hold up, thereby exonerating him.  He'll just be guilty of having an affair.  That doesn't mean his wife will stick around but there is a chance that they can repair their relationship.  I'm probably over thinking this mediocre movie but then again, I like Roth's earlier films and I dig his passion for exploitation flicks.  He's proven that he can be a very good film maker but his last two pictures he's had good material to work with but he takes the humor too far and refuses to stay close to the ground and deliver a better film.  He can do it, I just don't know why he doesn't.  This is a remake of DEATH GAME (1977).  Is it better than the remake?  I hope to find out soon.  The Lionsgate DVD looks and sounds good.  The extras include a commentary track with Roth, Lorenza Izzo, Nicolas Lopez and Colleen Camp (she starred in the original film), 1 deleted scene and an alternate ending (both totaling around 5 minutes) (with optional commentary from Roth) and some trailers to other Lionsgate pictures.

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