Knock Knock - Erotic, Horrific, and... Funny?

Marter | 11 Oct 2015 12:00
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Knock Knock is the best feature-length film of Eli Roth's career.

Knock Knock is way funnier than it probably has any right to be, and a large part of it has to do with the acting, which is either terrible or genius - it's hard to tell which. Keanu Reeves has only rarely given "good" performances, but his obliviousness and naivety, followed by awkwardness, and topped off with fear is so hilariously bad that it's incredibly effective at establishing a fantastically campy tone. Listening to him recite a monologue about how he's the victim is reason enough to check out this movie; note how he relates the girls' appearance to that of "free pizza."

Meanwhile, Lorenza Izzo and Ana de Armas are so over-the-top that their caricatures ascend simple stereotypes and become compelling from moment one. You key in on what they're going to be doing long before Reeves' character does, and from that moment, you wonder exactly to what lengths they'll go to in order to prove their points. And they do, indeed, go to some very extreme lengths. An impromptu game show, an insane amount of artistic defacement, and more profane taunts than a professional sporting event - these only scratch the surface of the depravity found within this movie.

All things considered, Knock Knock is the best feature-length film of Eli Roth's career, topped in general only by Nation's Pride, the Nazi propaganda film found within Inglourious Basterds. He shows a fantastic amount of skill here, from the way he manages to balance the tone, to the restraint he shows with the violence and gore, to how he weaves in social commentary, and even to how gorgeous some shots are. The acting is terrible but brilliant, the film is filled with tension and atmosphere, and it certainly doesn't struggle to hammer home its thoughts on infidelity. It's Funny Games for the FaceBook generation.

Bottom Line: Knock Knock is a wonderfully tense and darkly funny movie - the best of Eli Roth's career.

Recommendation: If you liked Funny Games, enjoy erotic thrillers with a point, or want to see a different side to Eli Roth, Knock Knock is definitely worth checking out.


If you want more of Matthew "Marter" Parkinson, you can follow him on the Twitter @Martertweet and check out his weekly movie podcast.

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