Knock knock. Who’s there? Another mediocre effort from Eli Roth.
Home invasion horrors should insight terror that grips at your very being. Your safe haven, your fortress, your happy place, where all the evil in the world can be locked out with the turning of a key. That place is violated. All of your possessions are up for grabs, your vinyl collection, your family photographs, your sweet action figures which are all NRFB (never removed from box). Your memories are for the taking.
This idea gives me anxiety just thinking about it, so a movie of this unthinkable, but completely possible event should have the viewer squirming in their seat praying for an end to the nightmare, yes?
Sadly with Knock Knock you are left angry that this whole scenario plays out without so much as a reason let alone a satisfying climax.
Roth suggests that all men will cheat on their partners, ruin their lives and mess up their children psychologically. All it would take would be for two naked women in their twenties to throw themselves at him. There are 3 billion men in the world, we can’t all be the same?
The portrayal of the women in question foray around in all manner of different psyches. Whether this is intentional still remains to be seen. At times they are menacing and psychotic, but for the most part they just appear to be annoying and spoiled. There is no clear motive for the actions in Knock Knock. We can’t fear these girls for the simple reason, at times during the movie, they don’t appear to be in control.
I’ll tell you what else is out of control, Keanu Reeves. I’m a fan, but what is going on with his delivery, is this a comedy?
Some dialogue suggests a more in depth reasoning for the girls behaviour, and there are some scenes I can only assume are supposed to “shock” and “reveal the story”, but ultimately afterwards I found myself asking, “why?”.
When home invasion movies such as Michael Haneke’s 1997 “Funny Games”, and even his own 2007 Americanised remake exist, Knock Knock has a high bar to reach. Knock Knock came nowhere close.
Perhaps I was expecting too much. Perhaps my lack of enthusiasm of this movie says more about my desire to see more pain and suffering on the screen than it does about Eli Roth’s filmmaking. The lead character does go through a pretty traumatic event that will change his whole life. Standing in Evan’s (Reeves) shoes, this movie is no joke and a far cry from the empty* he thought he was getting.
*empty – Scottish for having the house to yourself and engaging in “super secret parties”
Where is the “Cabin Fever” and “Hostel” Eli that we all loved?