Knock Knock starts out as a satire of vapid male fantasies before then becoming a vapid male fantasy. It then transforms itself into a satire of vapid torture porn before then becoming vapid torture porn. And, in the end, your main response will probably be, “Eh, who cares?”
Keanu Reeves plays Evan, an architect who has a nice house, a nice family, and a nice dog. He also has an injured shoulder, which leads to him staying home while his wife and children spend the weekend at the beach. Evan is looking forward to having the house to himself, especially when it starts to rain. I mean, who wants to be at the beach in the middle of storm, right? That night, Evan is relaxing in his home when he hears someone at the door.
Two young women, Genesis (Lorenza Izzo) and Bel (Anna de Armas), are standing on his front porch, soaked. They tell him that they’re looking for the address of a party and that their phone has gotten wet and could they please come inside for just a few minutes and get online and find the correct address? Evan agrees. Genesis and Bel enter the house. They tell him that they’re models. They tell him about their girlfriends. They talk about their sex lives and Evan responds with a goofy smile. They ask if they can take off all their clothes and toss them in a dryer. Evan agrees. “Uh, I’ve got some robes,” Evan says and it’s a funny line because Keanu Reeves sounds sincerely bewildered when he says it.
Anyway, you can tell where this leading. It starts with a threesome and then it ends with the house getting destroyed and people getting buried alive and, to be honest, it gets a little bit boring after a while. Perhaps if Evan was truly a loathsome character, as opposed to just an awkward Keanu Reeves, there would be some sort of joy in watching Genesis and Bel taunt him while destroying his home and destroying his wife’s artwork but instead it just amount to a bunch of repetitive taunting. Despite all of their talk about how Evan represents the 1% and how quickly Evan was willing to cheat on his wife and potentially destroy his family, Genesis and Bel don’t come across as being revolutionaries or avenging angels. Instead, they just seem to be overcaffeinated with no real reason for doing what they’re doing beyond the fact that there wouldn’t be a movie otherwise.
Keanu Reeves gives a strange performance in this film. At the start of the film, he actually seems like he’s perfectly cast. When Genesis and Bel first show up at his door, there’s some genuine wit to found in his confused reaction to the two girls. But then, as the film progresses, Reeves has to start pretending to be desperate and that’s never really been his strong suit. Perhaps because he’s trying to keep up with the hyper performances of Lorenza Izzo and Anna de Armas, Reeves starts to shout every single line and it just becomes rather humorous before then becoming rather dull. “STOP IT! I COULD GO DEAF!” he shouts when the girls force him to listen to loud music. Later, when he curses the girls, he sounds like a cartoon character talking about how much he hates Bugs Bunny. I like Keanu Reeves but he’s just not a very good shouter.
I’ve defended Eli Roth in the past and I imagine that I’ll do so again in the future but it’s best to keep the door closed on Knock Knock.