Knock Knock Blu-ray Review

Evan Webber lives above Los Angeles in a quiet neighborhood, in a home with hardwood floors and pictures of the family—a wife and two little ones—adorning the walls. It’s Father’s Day, and Webber (Keanu Reeves, 2014’s JOHN WICK) has been gifted a chocolate cake (with sprinkles!) and a personalized alarm clock from his kids. It’s a welcome surprise, even if it interrupts some morning fun with the Mrs.

Knock Knock

Despite the obvious admiration for his clan (there isn’t enough space left on the wall to hang a thumbtack), Webber is content with Karen (Ignacia Allamand, Eli Roth’s THE GREEN INFERNO) taking the kids out of town for the weekend. This will give him time to work on an ongoing development project of his, as well as play his music as loud as he wants and not get nagged about getting a haircut.

Knock Knock

Soon enough, the silence is disturbed by a knock at the door. It’s two girls, soaked in rain, asking Webber for help with directions. Webber calls for an Uber, which will take 45 minutes. They introduce themselves as Genesis (Chilean-born Lorenza Izzo, who is married to Roth) and Bel (Cuban-born Ana de Armas), and by the end of the night, they’ve donned (and dropped) bathrobes and initiated a threesome. Father’s Day weekend takes a fast turn, though, when the girls reveal themselves as manipulative, conning experts with a point to prove.

Knock Knock

The story develops at a nice pace in the first act. Up to this point, director Eli Roth has created (or, rather, adapted, since the movie is a remake of 1977’s DEATH GAME, which put Seymour Cassel at the mercy of two wet girls) a plot that builds uneasiness in the viewer as to just what sort of destruction the girls will initiate and see through. And then the movie starts to show its cards as not being nearly as interested in tension as suggested in the first half-hour. Instead, the mind games are dropped in favor of scenarios where people are tied up or killed or turned into sculptures, and moments with Reeves yelling about “free pizza,” showing that even in dire circumstances, there is always time for a metaphor.

Knock Knock

While Roth and fellow screenwriters Guillermo Amoedo and Nicolàs López (who previously teamed with Roth on 2012’s AFTERSHOCK) don’t explicitly go for the “torture porn” that the director is best known for—having helped bring the subgenre of horror to the mainstream with the HOSTEL movies—he does turn the movie into something far less suspenseful than it is pathetic. And when Karen and the kids come home and the movie ends, the viewer is left wondering just what the point really was. Is this a warning to adulterers or just a way for him to film a party with some under-30s in panties and Keanu Reeves?

BLU-RAY REVIEW

Video: 2.40:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. While some of the nighttime scenes seem to lack depth, the overall image is clean and offers a fine amount of details.

Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Subtitles in English and Spanish. Dialogue is clean and SFX are effective.

Audio commentary by Eli Roth, Lorenza Izzo, Nicolàs López and Colleen Camp: Roth, Izzo, López and Camp offer a strong commentary, discussing the inspirations, story, themes, cast and much more.

The Art of Destruction: The Making of KNOCK KNOCK (14:42): This featurette covers some of the same material as the commentary, but also includes interviews and clips.

Deleted Scenes (4:51): There are two here, which can be viewed separately or as a whole. They are: “Destruction” and “Alternate Ending.” Available with optional audio commentary by Eli Roth.

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