As this crude, mindless ‘Fatal Attraction’-in-hotpants home invasion thriller unfolds, it’s impossible to shake the sneaking suspicion that co-writer and director Eli Roth thinks, somewhere in his addled brain, that he’s making a feminist statement. He’s not. If he’s making a statement at all, it’s ‘I’M AN IDIOT’ in fifty-foot letters.
Sadly, he’s not alone in his confusion. Keanu Reeves – who co-produced and really should know better – plays Evan, a loving family man who, one fateful night when the wife and kids are away, opens the door to a pair of soaking, scantily clad girls who’ve lost their way. The question is not whether he’ll throw caution and pants to the wind – in Roth’s cynical world, everyone’s an asshole – but what the consequences will turn out to be. Suffice it to say, they involve a trashed house, a lot of hell-hath-no-fury shouting and Keanu tied to a chair with underwear stuffed in his mouth and a fork stuck in his shoulder.
‘Knock Knock’ is film that, time after time, throws away any chance it might have to make a coherent statement, relying instead on plastic, Britney-video titillation and constant shrieking. It’s particularly frustrating given that the dialogue’s okay and the performances are actually pretty good – the look on Keanu’s face following the film’s one great gag, right at the end, is priceless.
But it’s just so flatly, tediously charmless and unscary – and when Roth starts dropping hints about the girls’ motivation for their extreme behaviour, it tips over into outright offensive. The Keanu comeback just came to a screeching halt.