Film review – Knock Knock


I must admit that I love psychological thrillers and horror films. I’m a huge fan of all the classics and I thought I’d seen it all as far as horror but Knock Knock takes it to a whole new level. My love of this genre stems from an appreciation of the plot twists and imagination behind it but, sadly, this film lacks any real sophistication or imagination in favour of stereotypical characters and gratuitous violence and nudity.

It starts off as a fairly standard horror. Two pretty, young girls knock on a strange man’s door in the pouring rain and ask for help and to use their phone. Usually they just happen to choose the door of a serial killer and it ends badly for them but this film turns that around, as it is the stranded girls who turn out to be the true villains.

Directed by Eli Roth, the film follows Evan, an upstanding citizen, loving husband and caring father played by Keanu Reeves – who is left alone for a few days when his family go on holiday during which he welcomes two women into his home and offers them help. It begins very innocently but quickly spirals as it becomes clear that the women want more than help and begin to seduce him. Once he has given into temptation, the psychological torture and nightmare begins.

Stylistically, it is very good at building tension and keeping you on the edge of your seat, more in the hope that the horror will soon be over, but nonetheless it has those key aspects that you would expect from this type of film. However, this is quickly ruined as, frustratingly, the motives of the two women are never fully explained so the level of torture and violence seems completely random. This leaves you waiting to understand the reasoning behind it but you never really do so the plot has very little depth or purpose as the vague explanation does not match up to the level of tension and anger we have already witnessed.

One of the few saving graces is the acting. The two girls played by Ana De Armas and Lorenzo Izzo make a convincing duo of sexy sirens with bad tempers and psychopathic tendencies. Breaking away from his usual roles, Reeves, also gives a convincing performance of a targeted victim with no escape. As the film centers around those three pivotal characters, the high quality of acting partly makes up for the lacklustre scriptwriting.

The film quickly becomes more shocking and uncomfortable to watch as the sadistic brutality with heavily sexual motivation is repeatedly forced upon the audience with little relenting. The trailer gives a glimpse by revealing that there’s emotional blackmail, violence, the threat of a knife, strangulation and a grave in the garden. That gives a clue for the amount of depravity that it escalates into as it becomes a directorial experiment to see how far filmmakers can push the audience to the limits.

This film definitely isn’t for everyone so if you’re planning a group trip then warn everyone that there is a lot of gore, sex and violence so I wouldn’t recommend it if you are squeamish.

Overall, disturbing, pointless and best to avoid – 2/5 stars.

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Posted on 16th July 2015 by Elinore Court.

Elinore Court lives at Liberty House in London, she is studying a masters degree in Magazine Journalism at City University.

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