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Knock, Knock (0/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 104 minutes.

Not for children.

Remember the name Eli Roth, who directed and co-wrote (with Nicolás López & Guillermo Amoedo and story by Anthony Overman and Michael Ronald) this pretentious piece of garbage. If you ever see it on a film, stay away, far away (you might add producer Colleen Camp, who appears in a cameo, to your list, too). Everybody involved with this film, which satisfies the Supreme Court’s definition of pornography, “no redeeming social value,” deserves to be shunned.

Based on a 1977 film Death Game, Keanu Reeves (did he read this script before signing on?) is a happily married man with a beautiful, talented wife (Ignacia Allamand) and two delightful children who go for a weekend beach trip and leave him alone at their home in California (but filmed in Santiago, Chile). In the evening of the first night his doorbell rings and he opens it to two beautiful young women (sexpot Lorenza Izzo, who, at 25 has been 43 year old Roth’s wife for less than a year, and Ana de Armas) stranded in the rain looking for a party at some house they can’t find. He offers to help them and so invites them in and calls Uber for a car for them, but they turn out to be as bad as The Manson Family. Before Reeves realizes this, he lets the Uber car go when it arrives as he is being serviced by the two girls.

What ensues after a long, half hour setup, is nothing but a gothic horror film as the two young women torture him for being a pedophile, claiming that they are underage. It’s horrible and fatiguing to watch. There’s nothing in the film that justifies its being made.

This is a film that glorifies depravity, and people wonder why there are so many incidents of unreasonable violence in our society. Movies like this give validation to the sick people out there and undoubtedly influence copycat actions. One kept thinking that either Reeves was going to escape and get his vengeance, or there would be some explanation as to why they knocked on his door, rather than someone else’s. But that was giving Roth too much credit.

After sitting through this, I was stunned when Roth said this:

“I don’t want to vilify the girls, I want the audience to sympathize with them too, for they were victims of someone’s game, and what they do to Evan they see as therapy.”

Roth apparently didn’t read the script he claims to have written or view the movie for which he has received directing credit because the girls are something straight out of Charles Manson. Nobody not mentally unbalanced could “sympathize” with these two monsters. I kept thinking that they were getting revenge for something Evan had done, but there is no inkling of that anywhere in the film. What they did was destroy him and his family.

I had to stay and I felt guilty that my assistant was trapped because we came in the same car. However, it was not surprising that at my screening there were only three other critics in attendance. Obviously word got out, but it didn’t get to me. As a result, I left the theater exhausted and enervated. Fortunately, you have me to warn you.