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.
John Wick proved that sometimes Keanu Reeves doesn’t give a damn what projects he’ll take on, and is willing to leap feet first into anything whether it be Idaho, a matrix, or this. This being an erotic thriller from the man who gave us Hostel and The Green Inferno. Yes, ladies and germs, Eli Roth is still making films. Unfortunately, after the grim, almost mature beauty of The Green Inferno, we’re back to sex, boobs and sleaze you can scrape off a wall.
Knock Knock is a remake of 1977’s Death Game from director Peter Traynor (Evil Town), who also serves as a producer to this. Reeves plays Evan Webber, a confident, loving husband and father to two little dahlings. Recuperating from a shoulder injury, architect Webber chooses to stay home whilst his family skips off for a weekend at the beach. With wifey away, he can settle down to an evening of…. Designing buildings, using his 3D printer and smoking a little pot. Cease and desist your gasps of shock! He is a grown man and can do what he wants! Let you who hath not 3D printed cast the first stone.
His affluent, but somewhat boring, evening is interrupted when two women (Lorenza Izzo and Ana de Armas) turn up at his front door looking pert, attractive and vulnerable. Claiming to be lost on their way to a party, Webber dons his shining white armor and offers to call them a cab. Things slowly descend into a Dear Penthouse letter as the two women begin to share their adventures as sexually promiscuous stewardesses. Sexy on paper, it’s actually rather tedious and, to me, neither actor manages to raise the screen temperature above a lovely cup of tea. However, I am not Webber who eventually feels a stirring down below. Before you know it, the three have fallen into bed and the next morning, the revelation is dropped that the two stewardesses are really underage schoolgirls. Panicking for his reputation more than anything else, Webber kicks them out of his home. Unfortunately, Webber didn’t plan on these girls coming back. And they do. They do with a vengeance.
From this point onwards, Knock Knock becomes a game of cat and mouse as the two girls chase, beat and rape Webber within an inch of his life. He is humiliated, threatened with being put on the sex offenders’ list and so on. It’s all a little bit silly.
Moments of interest do crop up from time to time as Roth and his writing team of Guillermo Amoedo (The Stranger) and Nicolas Lopez (Aftershock) deconstruct the idea of male perversion and sexuality. Having had his way with women half his age, Webber is repulsed by the notion of Ana de Armas playing the naughty schoolgirl. Particularly as she’s wearing his daughter’s uniform. Whilst there’s an interesting dichotomy between fantasy and reality, and it’s something that cropped up in Hostel as well, it’s all quickly swept under the carpet because to hell with subtlety.
Equally irksome is the notion that the girls are violent because of previous sexual abuse by their parents. In a film where Keanu Reeves is raped by one girl whilst being cheered on by another, this revelation still manages to come across as cheap and tacky.
As we approach the end of Knock Knock and Webber finds himself literally having to dig himself out of his mistakes, the girls share their reasons for doing what they do. Webber is a just one of a string of men who fail to pass a test of their own devising. By this point, I had long since given up the ghost and was eyeing my watch to see if I could see ascertain how much longer I would have to put with all of this.
Knock Knock is one hot minute of something better wrapped up in nudity and mediocre acting. Full disclosure, I’ve never been a big fan of Roth’s giggling amongst the gore, but this has been the final nail in the coffin for me.