Continuing the phoenix like revival of Keanu Reeves, ‘Knock knock’ features Evan, a family man with two children whose life suddenly turns upside down when two strangers come knocking at his door in the middle of the night.
It doesn’t matter whether you love him or hate him, at some point during the year Eli Roth will put his name on a horror film. Regardless of whether its an independent or studio driven feature, he always manages to get behind something. Finally deciding to get back in the directors chair, Roth has both directed and produced something quite disappointing for a man that has seemingly defined a genre in the last few years. With a plot mirroring 1997’s (2007 remake) ‘Funny Games’ (only without the satire), Roth’s ‘one set’ structure isn’t something we haven’t seen before and as such feels a little too cliche.
The inability to move on from his usual directors trend of sexualised violence and gore is made evident with the distinct lack of any suspense. Without his usual rusty toolbox of ideas, Roth seems rather unimaginative in his approach which consequently take away from the experience.
This soft approach to cinema almost feels like Roth’s attempt at getting his name back in lights rather than grip us with a new approach to storytelling. The horror genre is quickly losing its pace now the found footage genre has been gutted and filleted. With the ‘new blood’ rising quickly through the ranks, it’s a surprise that a veteran director like Roth couldn’t produce something more substantial. With another film fighting so hard to get a release date (The Green Inferno), it’s a shame to see the man that created over top violence lose his grip on what made him interesting!
Although plagued with issues, the direction wasn’t the most surprising thing about the movie. As much as it pains me to say it, Keanu Reeves doesn’t give his best performance here. Yes, its rare to see Reeves elicit any emotional response in a film, but in some cases there is a reason for it. Here, it just seems a little over driven and played in the wrong way…he is much better as a John Wick than Evan Webber.
If it isn’t Keanu Reeves’ embarrassing performance, its Roth’s poor direction that ultimately make ‘Knock Knock’ a huge disappointment and in our opinion, pretty poor.
2.5 out of 5 stars