Don’t Answer the Door: “Knock Knock” (2015) Review


When his wife and kids go away for the weekend, Evan Webber (Keanu Reeves) sees this as a time to relax. That night during a storm two young women, Genisis (Lorenza Izzo) and Bel (Ana de Armas) knock on his door claiming to be lost. Evan invites them in and allows them to dry off and wait for a ride. But it turns out his guests aren’t willing to leave. Now Evan must fight for his life when a simple nice gesture turns into a deadly game between Evan and his new guests.

Following the recent release of his film Green Inferno, Eli Roth releases another horror/thriller. Unfortunately, this film shows that Roth is better left to writing gore and torture flicks. While Knock Knock involves more of mental torture, it leaves a massive bitter taste afterwards. Right away we are established that Evan is a family man, but he’s also living in a sexless marriage. When these two girls enter Evan’s life, you can tell that he’s going to do something that he’s going to regret. The story sound intriguing on paper, but seeing it played out is a whole different story. It tries to be Wild Things meets Fatal Attraction, but it’s nowhere near as steamy and fun as Wild Things or as thrilling as Fatal Attraction. In fact Knock Knock is very much dull. There is mental torture present but it more so comes in the form of two young women. Seriously, these two don’t need to tie a person down to drive them insane (though it does make it worse), their constantly cackling and yelling is enough to drive a person up the wall.

Maybe this was the intention? I have no idea. But when all of that is said and done, they torture Evan due to his infidelity and fill his mind with lies to further torture him because of what he’s done. As much as I wanted to turn off this movie, I was determined to finish it to see how it ends and hope to see the two annoying women get their just deserts. Without giving anything away, it ends in the most dull and boring way possible. It’s almost as if Roth put us through all of this mental torture of watching this all for nothing. Even the ending is abrupt and ends with one of the dumbest final lines in a film I’ve heard. Along with our two ladies driving us and Evan bonkers, it is the character of Evan himself that brings nothing to us a viewers. We’re supposed to feel sorry for this guy and root for him, but the fact of the matter is, his character has no personality whatsoever, and then there is the fact that he cheated on his wife with both of the girls. Had he not hooked up with them and they tortured him regardless, he might have earned some merit.

The one thing I will give the film credit for is the fairly well-done performances by Lorenza Izzo and Anna de Armas. While the characters are dreadful, the two actresses do a fantastic job of driving you to insanity. They also know how to be sweet and innocent one minute and then completely go deranged, making you unsure what they’re really capable of. Keanu Reeves however once again provides a truly awful performance. He goes through the movie with no real emotion in the dialogue and acts like he doesn’t care. He doesn’t get into character at all, and some of his line delivery when he’s trying to be angry or he’s begging is just plain laughable (literally). I found myself wanting him to die so I wouldn’t have to sit through his acting anymore.

Knock Knock for me is easily Eli Roth’s worst film of his career. It delivers absolutely nothing to the audience. Annoying characters, and extremely unlikable lead character, and a truly awful performance by Keanu Reeves. If it weren’t for Izzo and de Aramas, there would be nothing redeeming about this film.

–Cody Landman