Straight after viewing Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno, I wanted to check out more of his movies. His latest film Knock Knock grabbed my attention! Keanu Reeves in the starring role hot off the heels from his performance in awesome action thriller John Wick, plus Lorenza Izzo in a differently role compared to that of hers in The Green Inferno, this was a must see for me. Happy to say, this is a very sexy, funny and unsettling cat and mouse thriller that would’ve benefitted from more violence, but the performances and shocking events make up for that.
Happily married father of two Evan, a successful architect, has the whole weekend to himself when his family go to the beach for the weekend. On a wet and cold night, someone knocks at his door. Two girls, Genesis and Bel, freezing, soaked and lost, plead for his help to use a phone to get to a party. He lets them in, offering the girls a few more favours. Things become civil and friendly as they bond over similar interests, that is until Evan succumbs to sexual tension, leading to a night of regret and soon danger when the girls decide they won’t leave without getting what they want.
Keanu Reeves play the family man really well, convincing without being too overbearing and when the stakes get high, he superbly sells a man who knows he's done wrong but inside knows he can be forgiven. Lorenza Izzo is scolding hot and menacing, you can tell she just lets go and is having a blast playing a total tease and a crazy psychopath, I loved her scene where she's applying make-up without even paying attention to Evan who is strapped to a bed behind her. Ana De Armas is terrific as Bel, balancing a seemingly innocent persona and a persuasive temptress all at once, the casting in this film couldn't be any better.
Tightly shot throughout, each frame envelops Evan as he wanders around the confines of his open plan home, any threat could appear from any point and that's where the suspense builds. There aren't any jump scares which is refreshing seeing as we're in a time of horror where the majority of films rely on them heavily. The cat and mouse elements work brilliantly, hide and seek with a gun and the "house guests" letting themselves into the house wherever they want, it's all well timed and isolating for Evan.
The character themselves are great, Evan especially. The first act is filled with poor choices by the man, I kept shouting at the screen "What are you doing!?". Sex, temptation, teasing and guilt are the main themes here and without being too preachy they work well together. As for the girls, I believe they will go down as two of the most notorious and sexy female psychopaths this decade, I hope! Eli Roth constructs the sex scenes with fast cuts and verve, this style emphasises the shock of what Evan is doing and not realising the aftermath. I just wish there was more violence, one scene sees a man have his neck break after falling on a statue but that's as bloody as it gets. Roth missed out on his opportunity to get some nasty but minimal torture that would up the ante but still keep the characters alive, making for more unbearable viewing.
Still, a great film that never has a boring moment and works thanks to excellent performances, stylish direction and outrageous behaviour. Surprised at all the mixed to negative reviews, I recommend giving it a go.