‘Some doors should never be opened’
Knock Knock is a 2014 American/Chilean psychological thriller feature film directed by Eli Roth (Hostel; Hostel: Part II; The Green Inferno) from a screenplay co-written with Guillermo Amoedo and Nicolás López.
Knock Knock is a loose remake of co-executive producer Peter S. Traynor’s 1977 film Death Game (he also co-directed Doctor Shagetz aka Evil Town). Clint Eastwood’s former wife Sondra Locke, who starred in the original, is a co-executive producer, whilst co-producer Colleen Camp (Cat in the Cage; The Seduction; Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant), who also starred in the original, has a cameo role in Roth’s movie.
Perplexingly, given it is an obvious retread of Death Game, Eli Roth told IGN that his inspiration for Knock Knock came from the early work of “Roman Polanski or Paul Verhoeven” and that he wants to make “a classic psychosexual thriller that’s not a horror movie, but would have everyone on the edge of their seats.” Presumably, Roth, therefore, assumes we don’t have access to the internet? Next, he’ll be telling us that The Green Inferno isn’t a reworking of Cannibal Holocaust…
Evan Webber (Keanu Reeves) is living the dream. Just look at his beautiful, successful wife, his two wonderful kids, and his truly stunning house—which he designed himself. Of course, he did.
Things are going so well, Evan doesn’t even mind spending Father’s Day alone while the rest of his family heads out for a beach weekend. And then there’s a knock on the door. The two young women (Lorenza Izzo and Ana de Armas) standing on Evan’s doorstep are where Evan’s dream takes a nightmarish turn…
“Keanu Reeves’ whiny monologue comparing an act of infidelity to “free pizza” is a moment that seems destined for cult canonization in Knock Knock … Confined mostly to one well-appointed house, the film makes bold use of interior design, as Roth glides his camera through the space and exploits the expressionist possibilities of Venetian blinds and beading storm water on windows.” Ben Kenigsberg, Variety
“Reeves is great with the kids, which adds to our disappointment when he violates his family’s trust, but also our sympathies when he gets in so deep. There’s also something special about watching one of cinema’s greatest action heroes (yeah, I said it) become the helpless victim. Izzo and de Armas are terrifying.” Fred Topel, Bloody Disgusting
” … while the remake employs present-day tech in appropriate ways, three decades-plus of cinema have had little impact on its sexual dynamics or afforded much feminist perspective on a plot that’s easy to read as misogynistic. What would Knock Knock look like with a handsome nobody in Reeves’s role and two smart, established actresses opposite him?” John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter
“If you want to see an unbearable, full-length adaptation of the scene in Gremlins 2 when Lenny the goofy Mogwai causes a mess in Billy’s apartment, then Knock Knock is for you. If not, all you’re left with is a film with direction, editing, and dialogue on par with a Lifetime movie.” Justin Gerber, Consequence of Sound