One of the most exciting developments in recent genre cinema has been the resurgence of Keanu Reeves, who made a respectable directorial debut with "Man of Tai Chi" and revitalized his action star cache with "John Wick." Now the underrated actor delivers one of the best performances of his career in Eli Roth's home invasion thriller, though it must be said that the rest of the film isn't quite operating at his level.
This thing is so exquisitely sly. I would say that it is not so much misogynistic as it is a real (and supremely important) interrogation of the insecurities and frustrations of heterosexual male desire in the face of its unstable (here seriously fucking unstable) object(s). This was a blow to the solar plexus of which I was in need. This is a very, very funny movie. The most uncomfortable of uncomfortable laughs.
WOW, what awful acting jobs. Roth does build a nice atmosphere, and that's all. I like seeing the director go from guts and bones to mind screwing - it's a good growth to his cinema, although I wish he was surrounded by a better cast. A sicker vibe would make this be a hit - it works as a middle class porn fetish nightmare - but I remember thinking about some scenes: "what an overrated drama!".
A remake of Death Game (1977) updated for the social media generation—more and more a frequent object of interest for horror films. Part black comedy, part erotic horror, infused with a mild critique of elitist art amongst other things. Seeing Keanu punished for doing a Nicolas Cage is likely to provide satisfaction to many. It has all the traits of a cult favourite in the making.
Eli Roth described this film at the Sundance Festival as "Fatal Attraction for the I-Phone generation." Is that accurate? Yes. Is that a good thing? Probably not. Knock Knock is much less serious and certainly less dark-- as expected from Roth-- and has more humor. The thing is, most of the time the viewer is laughing at it, not with it. The only sentiments it has to say is: guys be scum, girls be crazy.