One night can cost you everything.
The joke among horror and film buffs is that Eli Roth is not a great film maker. Not having seen many of his movies, we could never really attest to that fact. If Knock Knock is any indication of his talents as a writer or director then we might have to believe the naysayers.
Keanu Reeves plays Evan, a loving and caring husband who is left alone for a long weekend to work while his wife and two children take a mini-holiday away. Two women knock on his door in the middle of the night, they are lost and soaking wet and need help. Ever the kind man, he lets them into his home, but what was initially a good-natured action turns into a game of dangerous seduction.
There really is no way to put this nicely, so I will put it bluntly: Knock Knock is a poor movie, even a bad one. It seems however that most of the responsibility for the substandard execution should fall on the director’s shoulders.
Right off the bat, the acting in Knock Knock is awkwardly bad. The dialogue is drawn out in an unnatural manner for real conversation, and the interactions are pointless. Almost any subject our key players talk about could easily be interchanged for something else with no repercussion on the remainder of the film. With no merit to the dialogue, there is no hope for the characters or narrative to feel like it is evolving, and that is bad writing. This is clear by Evan’s two female tormentors coming across more as annoying brats than twisted sociopaths.
Sometimes slow pacing works in a film, because it builds tension and sets a longstanding tone for the film, creating a mood that captivates the audience. Knock Knock is not that type of film, and while slow, it completely misses the mark in creating anything, let alone tension. This film could have been some creepy horror version of Wild Things or even a version of Hard Candy, instead it is nothing of merit.
This whole review may sound harsh, but considering I went into this film open minded and completely without expectation and had such an adverse reaction to it, I think it is justified. Knock Knock is goofy, no scary and the only time I had any reaction to the film was with Louis’s line “Bitch, I am from Oakland.”