Knock, Knock..Who’s there? Eli Roth and he wants to have some fun with audience perception.
Roth, presenting himself upon his emergence into the Horror film makers fraternity as an over excited fanboy ready to spill blood, has now matured his image to that of an old master. And he’s ready to teach.
Knock, Knock the tale of a happily married father (Keanu Reeves), home alone, who answers his door to two beautiful rain soaked nymphs (Lorenza Izzo and Ana De Armas) who are not all they appear to be, revels in it’s absurdity. From Keanu Reeves clunky opening lines “Chocolate with sprinkles!!/ “Monster sad”, to his manically bad delivery of later lines after the cray cray vixens show their true(ly insane) colors, ‘Knock, Knock’ presents as an absurdist bloodless comedy..from a renowned Horror Shock Gore director..
Which begs the question, is Knock, Knock just a cleverly constructed joke? If it is, then Eli Roth has told a very good one.
To say that Keanu Reeves is not renowned for his acting abilities..is an understatement of the highest order but his balsa wood acting in Knock, Knock suggests that he has been asked to milk the teat of his wooden acting dry. His delivery of the line “IT WAS FREE PIZZA!!” which he screams in relation to the girl’s seduction of him is so deeply hilarious and endlessly quotable that it should be noted as THE greatest line of 2015. Then there are the titular temptresses who make Bunny Boiling look like a quiet Sunday afternoon pastime, these bitches be crazy. And it is here that Roth delivers his greatest punchline – there is no evisceration of bowels, no slow shots of torture, just Keanu Reeves tied to a bed while one of his beautiful tormenters struts around in his daughters school uniform, calling him Daddy. We itch for the blood, quiver in expectation for the dripping intestinal gore that made Roth’s name. After the utter massacres that were Hostel Part 1 and 2, the idea of leaving gore fans without their ‘Happy Ending’ is unthinkable.
But it is on the edge of this expectation that Roth rests back against his director’s chair and lets his psychotic femme fatales frolic wildly through a piece that is not quite horror and not quite comedy – but somehow is both horrific and funny. Absurd and bafflingly entertaining to it’s final chuckling breath ; Knock,Knock is a joke that was worth telling.