Review: “Knock Knock” Terrorizes the Audience More Than It’s Main Character







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Posted October 12, 2015 by

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Evan Webber is a family man to the max. He has a beautiful wife, two perfect children, enough money in the bank to live comfortably, and a large house that his architect wife created. When his family goes to the beach for the weekend, and he stays behind to finish up some work, Evan finds himself opening their doors to two young women in need of help. What starts off as an overly friendly exchange between the three, turns into a nightmare for Evan who has a lot to lose.

‘Knock Knock’ is a remake of the 1977 horror film “Death Game“, yet doesn’t do much to modernize the story other than the fact that people mention social networking sites and have iPads. It’s a dark and stormy night when two young girls knock on Webber’s (Keanu Reeves) door. He lets them in, being the nice guy that he is (also another time when he helped out a young girl has made his wife slightly suspicious of him but only gets mentioned in passing), and doesn’t find it odd when they keep touching him, talking about sex to the point where it holds no meaning anymore, and begin taking a shower as soon as their Uber car arrives. He tries to deny their advances, albeit just so he can tell himself he tried to get out of it, and ends up sleeping with both girls for the night. The next morning, the girls’ personalities have completely changed; they’re running all over the place, cooking up all of his food, pretending to be dogs, and reveal their real age which makes it hard for Webber to call the cops on them. What follows is scene-after-scene of Reeves stretching his acting ability far past its limits, an origin story for one of the girls’ sexual fetishes that doesn’t add anything to the overall narrative, and a lot of scenes that leave you dumbfounded and frustrated.


In a recent interview, Roth talks about the acting being the thing he wants driving the film. Unfortunately the acting in this movie is so bad, you can’t help but laugh. What comes to mind is a scene where the girls have put headphones on Reeves’ head while they are playing a game: if he answers their questions incorrectly, they blast a screeching sound into his ears that threatens to deafen him. Whenever they play the sound, Reeves thrashes around in the chair screaming, “My ears! My ears! I’m going to go deaf!” and it’s one of the funniest things I’ve seen this year; only to be outdone by when he finally gets his chance to plead his case with the girls and screams ‘fuck’ a thousand times and relates their intercourse to ‘free pizza’. On the flip side of that coin, Izzo and Armas do a great job at portraying their characters, unfortunately Roth wrote them to be so annoying that it makes their performance hard to watch and extremely aggravating as the film goes on.

I always try to find something good to say about movies that I really didn’t enjoy, but the problem with Roth is he’s so good at advertising what the philosophical meaning behind the film really is; it just never plays out on the screen. He constantly says his films are a throwback to ‘this’ genre of film, or that he’s attacking ‘social media’ or ‘technology’, and you see hints of what he’s talking about but not enough to believe he did a good job at conveying what he was going for. He will continue to fool people into watching his movies because the guy knows about horror films, he just doesn’t know how to make a good one. We just keep holding out hope that he will move away from the torture porn and erotic storylines and actually live up to the potential he promises at every press junket,  but I won’t be holding my breath any longer.

‘Knock Knock’ brings an annoying script to life and offers its audience zero payoff. For 99 minutes, I sat there just hoping it would come together well and give me some satisfaction, but I was left shaking my head and mumbling, “That’s how it ends?” Do yourself the favor and just watch the original film ‘Death Game’. At least in that one you won’t have to deal with him face-timing his wife and the girls continuously finding the iPad/cell phone he’s trying to use to call for help.





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