SPOILER WARNING: This review will spoil the plot for you if you haven’t watched the film.
Knock Knock is one of those rare beasts, a movie I went to see having heard nothing about what so ever. I had not read any reviews and whilst the trailer was on when I watched Spy, I paid little attention to it. This film came out of nowhere so I watched it with a completely open mind.
Knock Knock stars Keanu Reeves and a brace of unknown actors. The story is that Keanu has a wife and young family who go away for the weekend so that he can concentrate on his latest architectural project for work, leaving him in the family home.
On the first night he is disturbed by a knock on the door which turns out to be a couple of lost girls who are claiming to be looking for a party at a local house, soaking wet from the rain he invites them in so that they can dry off and call a Taxi as their phones are ruined by the torrential rain.
Eventually and after much blatant and cringe worthy effort the girls seduce Keanu. The next morning, they refuse to leave the house and start going crazy, trashing the house and damaging the numerous artworks of Keanu’s character’s wife.
Ultimately they tie up Keanu, torture and threaten to kill him, claiming that one of them is under the legal age of consent and that Keanu’s character is a paedophile. Finally they bury him up to his neck in his garden, fully trash and vandalise the house, post a video of him sleeping with one of them to his facebook account and leave him to face the music. The last scene is of his wife and kids arriving home.
From the outset it seems like Keanu has finally cottoned on to the fact that people say that he’s a wooden actor and is over compensating for it. The scenes at the beginning, with his children feel very forced and downright bizarre; you just can’t buy into it. This being Keanu’s first role where he is a father really shows through. Keanu’s character is supposed to be a retired DJ who has become an architect which is also far from believable and the only time he gives a convincing performance is when he’s briefly broken by the mental abuse doled out on him by the girls when his feelings of helplessness is palpable, but it’s only fleeting.
Keanu loses his rag at one point and extrudes a violent, frustrated rant and it’s just plain weird to watch, it’s also difficult to swallow that his character couldn’t overpower the girls at any point. He is put off from calling the police as the girls claim that one of them is 15, but that’s also very unbelievable.
Knock Knock was filmed entirely on location in Chile and, despite one scene, has just one set, the house. This along with utilising generally unknown supporting cast members means that the budget was very low at $10m so will likely be considered a commercial success, but it left me feeling disappointed and slightly bemused, it’s not a bad film, per-se and provides acceptable performances from the supporting cast, but it would have benefited immensely from not having Keanu Reeves in it.
Knock Knock has an interesting premise as it is clear these girls do this regularly. It feels like a semi original story though Writer/Director Eli Roth (Cabin Fever, Hostel) has stated that the 1977 film Death Game has been a big influence, but I just couldn’t get past it being Keanu Reeves. He’s pushing 51 now and just doesn’t fit the age of 42 that his character is supposed to be. He doesn’t fit the role of a father, he doesn’t fit the role of an ex DJ or an architect for that matter, he just doesn’t fit this film in any way, shape or form.
I can’t recommend that anyone goes see this film, it’s certainly not worth the £10+ a cinema ticket is these days. Hopefully it will sink back into the obscurity it came from and Keanu will go back to doing films like John Wick where all he does is fight, shoot and not say too much, exactly the kind of role he is best at.