A wasted opportunity in this premise that has you rolling your eyes when it should have you on the edge of your seat.
When a hard working husband and family man is home alone for the weekend working on an important project, two mysterious, and attractive younger women knock on his door in the middle of the night during a storm asking for help and when he lets them inside his life will never be the same again.
When you take a – dark rainy evening, two beautiful young women stranded and at your doorstep, and add a middle-aged husband and family man home alone for the weekend – the formula would appear as it if would weave a compelling thriller. That is what I hoped for in this new Keanu Reeves flick directed by Eli Roth. The trailer was interesting, the concept something that could be related to so naturally as I started this one I was hoping I would be entertained by a suspenseful, gripping movie.
After the credits began to roll and this film was completed, I was wasn’t sure exactly what I had just watched. Were there moments of suspense, a few. Were there some laughs, a couple, but was this film a comedy or a thriller, not even close. The first-act started out well enough, there was a small intro to Keanu Reeves as the good father and loving husband. There was no hiding the fact the film was setting this up for what would follow but it was still decent enough to deliver the perfect family vibe.
Even into the second-act the film was interesting as the two female leads interrupt Reeves’ night of working at home alone. Early on the interactions were compelling as Reeves’ character reluctantly assists these two stranded young woman who arrive at his door by mistake. It was easy to put yourself in his characters shoes rousing thoughts of what decisions you would choose if caught in his awkward position. This was something that made the first 25 minutes of this film relatively enjoyable.
I guess the first indication this story-line would not weave a deep enough store to full build any strong suspense would have been the simple set-up for the overall plot. Early on Reeves’ character is with his wife wanting to have sex but their kids are up and the mood once again is not right, a point the writers wanted to cement during the dialogue letting us know it had been awhile since they… caught up. Looking back it was a generic set-up to a promising plot that would fail to deliver.
Not long after these two strangers show up to the home the dialogue quickly begins to drift onto the side of the implausible. I mean it’s completely obvious these women are not who they say they are, and there is no denying they are up to something. Reeves’ character is a smart man and the thought he would not see their shiftiness is ridiculous. Okay, I understand the premise, a beautiful woman can make the smartest of men do the dumbest things, and i suppose the pressure of resisting two, is a formidable feat. But the fact these two girls are so shady in their portrayal, in my opinion eliminates the previous notion.
The writing of the script could have easily made these women more convincing in their seduction of the husband. Sexual allure is one thing, but in the face of blatant shadiness is what made this film unable to keep a connection with after building a decent one early on. Throughout the second half these two girls actions border on the idiotic as the direction in the writing completely kills the ability for them to create any suspenseful scenes. For much of the film I sat there with a perplexed expression as I watched the improbably approach this script chose. There was clear intention to make these two woman as insane as possible but it was done so in such a preposterous way that it almost felt like the film stopped taking itself seriously.
Reeves was decent in his performance for the most part and he was convincing at times early on in his reactions to their flirtatious advances, conveying a clear effort in his resistance. However, deeper into the story his performance came across as implausible as the females leads, with his incompetence against the two of them. There were a few chuckles as his character absolutely loses it and freaks out once he hits his wits end. It was honestly the most emotion I have ever see him put into a role and it was unfortunate it had to be in this film. Reeves was the one glimmer of good in this below average movie, he put effort into his role to make some memorable moments in a forgettable film. Although he was delivering some laughs when he was trying to convey suspense, but regardless, his freak out sessions were amusing.
“Knock Knock” could have been a great thriller had it done a better job of building plausible tension but in the end the obscure approach the story chose stripped the film of any realism. The tone built early on was a good one and it would have been highly entertaining had it stayed that way. Instead the story tried to go WAY to over-the-top and in the end it lost me, and came across quite boring for the most part. If you are a Keanu Reeves fan you will enjoy parts of his performance but the problem is you will have to sit through to film to see. A film that tries too hard to be twisted and demented, only to come across a dumb.
– Starring –
Keanu Reeves, Lorenza Izzo, Ana de Armas, Ignacia Allamand, Aaron Burns
– Directed By –
Time: 99 min
MPAA Rating: R (For disturbing violent behavior, strong sexual content, nudity and language)