Knock Knock (2015) - Eli Roth
Let me just start off by saying I don't even know what Eli Roth is trying to be anymore. His latest feature, Knock Knock, tells the story of a devoted husband and father who is home alone for the weekend when his family goes on a mini-vacation. That night he receives a knock on the door, opening it to discover two stranded young women asking for help. What starts off as a simply a kind gesture quickly transforms into seduction but that's only the beginning, as these two young woman turn out to be far more psychotic, with sinister intentions in mind. Eli Roth's Knock Knock is a film that I find hard pressed to define as a horror film, as its tongue-and-cheek approach combined with Eli Roth's prepubescent humor make it feel much more like a comedy. The film seems intent on social satire, being at its core about a man being punished for his adulterous transgressions, but unfortunately Knock Knock is incredibly anti-climatic, too tame to be a thrilling horror experience and too childish to be taken seriously as a satire. What works? Well, Keanu Reeves is perfectly cast in this film, given his limited acting chops, and I'd be lying if I didn't say I found a decent amount of humor in watching him deliver lines and ham it up in this tongue-and-cheek effort. From a direction standpoint Roth continues to be hit-and-miss. The whole opening of the film feels amateur and manufactured, a pretty typical problem with Roth's films, as Knock Knock goes above and beyond to establish that this father characer is the perfect family man. In fact, I'd argue that none of the characters feel organic in the slightest, simply used to drive the story forward. When the mayhem begins, Roth routinely uses juxtaposition, highlighting the various family portraits throughout the household when Reeves' character is with these two young woman, but Roth, per usual, can't help himself but go overboard with it, making the somewhat intelligent directorial decision feel overbearing and forced. My sole biggest complaint with Knock Knock is simple - it lacks a truly awesome climax, being a film that is a big tease with no true payoff.
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