Don't forget to join in on the month long celebration of horror with #ScaryMovieMonthAtDCM
According to the schedule I so ambitiously wrote a couple of weeks ago (here), I should be two days into my 10 day period of horror remakes. For this year's #ScaryMovieMonthAtDCM, however, I haven't had the time or patience to write a review a day, so I didn't think I'd seen a remake yet this month. That was until I was looking through the IMDb page of this movie, not long after having sat down and watched it, and it's here that I noticed that Knock Knock is a remake of the 1977 film 'Death Game.' So yeah, here you go. My first remake of the second (and probably final) #ScaryMovieMonthAtDCM.
Knock Knock is the story of Evan Webber (Keanu Reeves). He's a loving father and husband who's staying home alone for the weekend to get some designing done while his family travels to the beach. Hoping to finish off the house he's working on, Evan makes himself comfortable, kicks on some tunes and gets to work, but not long after a storm breaks out, Evan gets a knock at the door. Two young women, Genesis (Lorenza Izzo) and Bel (Ana de Armas), come pleading for help. Evan lets them use his phone and dry themselves off, but it doesn't take long for them to seduce him, and what follows is not a lot of fun for poor Evan. Not a lot of fun at all.
Intentional or not, Knock Knock is absolutely hilarious. IMDb lists the film as a horror, a mystery and a thriller, so the odds of this being intentional is unlikely, but I can't deny how hard I laughed at certain points in this movie, mostly thanks to the dialogue spurted out by the seemingly bored Keanu Reeves. From "chocolate with sprinkles," to "YOU SUCKED MY COCK," Knock Knock has countless serious lines of dialogue coming across comedic, and I'm not sure if I should applaud Eli Roth for this or not.
Speaking of Roth, this is my first encounter with him as a director and I'm really not sure what to make of him. Perhaps this was just a bad first impression, or perhaps this is as good as he gets. With this film, he doesn't really do anything special. Everything he does has been done before and it's been done better. From his cinematography to the performances he's capable of getting out of his actors, everything's merely fine. Nothing more, nothing less. The low budget and limited locations could have done great things for this man's career, just like it did with M. Night Shyamalan earlier this year, but all he manages to do is make a film that gradually gets worse and worse and worse.
The film's gradual build up isn't necessarily bad, merely because of how uneventful it is. It's a watchable, if not slightly slow, first half. Nothing happens that you haven't seen in the trailer, but watching Keanu Reeves get uncomfortable around women hitting on him, to me, is insanely entertaining. I can't explain why. It just was. Then he sleeps with them, and everything that follows is less exciting. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's torture porn as the torture isn't too frequent, but it's along those lines. It's two women getting revenge over a man who they seduced and their motives make no sense. They're trying to show that cheating is bad, and that's a fine message, but the character of Evan didn't want to cheat in the first place. He had no intention of cheating. Their revenge plot is brought on by confusing character motive.
There are no stand out moments in this movie, either. In most bad horror movies, or even mediocre ones, there's always a stand out moment. Whether this is a good moment or a bad moment, that depends on the film. With Knock Knock, nothing in this film stands out. Everything is on the same level of forgettable, mostly thanks to the lacklustre performances. Nothing is convincing and no sequence springs to mind as being memorable. Even with disappointments like Annabelle or The Gallows, they had their stand out sequences. With Knock Knock, there's nothing.
To sum up, Knock Knock is a film that tries to be great, but ends up settling for mediocre. It has its fun moments and it can get pretty damn hilarious, although I'm not sure whether that's intentional or not, but there's just nothing special about it, the plot gradually getting worse and worse.
2 1/2 Stars