Latest movie watched here in the shadows was the latest offering from director Eli Roth (“Cabin Fever”, “Hostel”), who also co-wrote and co-produced. A horror thriller film, “Knock Knock” was released in the UK in June of this year.
The film is apparently based upon the 1977 movie “Death Game”, and the two female leads in that film, Sonda Locke and Colleen Camp, are credited as producers on this new version. “Death Game” began with the text “This motion picture is based on a true story.
It should serve to remind us that fate allows no man to insulate himself against the evil that pervades our society” although I have no idea if the claim of being based on a true story is, indeed, true!
Architect and forty-something family man Evan Webber (Keanu Reeves – “John Wick”, “The Matrix”) is celebrating the start of Father’s Day weekend together with his wife and two children in their luxury California home.
His wife Karen (Ignacia Allamand – “The Green Inferno”, “Aftershock”), a successful artist, is taking the children to the beach for the weekend but Evan needs to stay at home, with their dog Monkey for company, to finish a work project.
Evan is working late into the night during a rainstorm when there is a knock at the door. When he opens the door he finds two rain-soaked young women on his doorstep who tell him that they are trying to find a party but unsure of the address and unable to contact the host because their mobile phone has died due to getting wet in the rain.
Reluctantly Evan lets the two girls – Genesis (Lorenza Izzo – “The Stranger”, “Sex Ed” – and director Roth’s wife) and Bel (Ana De Armas – “Blind Alley”, “Anabel”) into his home to dry off. When they realise that the party was actually in a different part of two he orders them a taxi, which will take forty-five minutes to arrive to pick them up.
While they are waiting Evan gives the girls robes to wear and puts their wet clothes into the dryer, but becomes visibly uncomfortable at their increasingly flirty behaviour and is rather relieved when the taxi arrives outside.
When he goes to the bathroom with their dry clothes, however, he finds that both Genesis and Bel are naked and is seduced into spending the night with the pair.
The following morning Evan finds the girls are still in his home and making themselves quite at home. He eventually manages to convince them to leave and drives them home, relieved that – despite his rather massive mistake – he can now get back to normal and put it behind him.
Unfortunately for Evan, however, the repercussions of his moment of weakness are only just beginning…
A question arises during the film. Would any supposedly good and loving family man be able to resist what one character describes as “free pizza” – in this case in the shape of two young, attractive women throwing themselves at him – be able to resist, particularly if he thought there would be no consequences? Well, certainly watching this movie should be enough to give most men pause for second thoughts, I’m sure.
Essentially a three character film for most of its duration, the story is well told. Reeves is better playing his part than he is often given credit for, and both Izzo and the wide-eyed De Armas are excellent in their respective roles. One could say that some of the things depicted here are a little over the top at times. Yes, we could pretend that, for example, random acts such as wanton vandalism and destruction don’t happen in the real world but sadly they do.
There are some plot holes, but they don’t spoil the overall effect of the movie. Ignoring them, I will add that there is also some blackly comic humour involved here too, such as the event at the end of the film involving Evan’s mobile phone, which I suppose lightens the tone a little but ultimately this plays out as a kind of extreme morality tale and is very enjoyable whilst it does so…