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Knock Knock (Blu-ray Review)

Knock KnockWhen a devoted husband and father is left home alone for the weekend, two stranded young women unexpectedly knock on his door for help. What starts out as a kind gesture results in a dangerous seduction and a deadly game of cat and mouse. A sexy new thriller from director Eli Roth, Knock Knock stars Keanu Reeves as the family man who falls into temptation and Lorenza Izzo and Ana de Armas as the seductresses who wreak havoc upon his life, turning a married man’s dark fantasy into his worst nightmare.  

 

Knock Knock

Film 

Knock Knock is Eli Roth’s latest film and it’s a remake of the late-70’s B-horror flick Death Game (Colleen Camp starred in that one and produced this remake). Knock Knock stars Keanu Reeves as loving husband and father of two, Evan Webber. When his family goes out of town he stays back to complete some of his work. Evan is an architect and his wife is a successful fine artist.

As Evan has the entire house to himself he decides to crank up some Kiss tunes and work on his projects until someone comes knocking. At the door, two beautiful damsels in distress surprise Evan. They’re in search of a party, are lost, and have no way to communicate with their friends to get to where they need to be. It’s Evan to the rescue! He lets them in to dry off and make a couple of calls.

Yeah, hijinks ensue when Genesis (Lorenza Izzo) and Bel (Ana de Armas) begin to play around Evan’s house rummaging through his things and acting playful enough to not freak Evan out. Evan is a bit a confused but lets it go. Things get going as the night progresses and the girls seem to not be leaving any time soon. They, in fact, seduce Evan and have a bit of a ménage a trois. 

When the next day arrives the girls have begun to turn on Evan and do a complete 180-turn not in his favor. They’ve ransacked the house and in essence hold Evan hostage and proceed to blackmail him in addition to a bit of mental torture. I bet Evan wishes he could go back to the previous night.

Man oh man, where to start. I remember watching the trailer and thinking that Keanu Reeves and Eli Roth teaming up on a film? Okay then, I’m interested! I watched the theatrical trailer and was all like yes, yes, I am most definitely interested. Then I watched the film and really wanted to turn it off after the sex scene. Once we get to the “next day” of the storyline it all goes to crap. I get the concept of two psycho women who have kidnapped, beaten, tortured an adulterer and father; but when the antagonists weigh about 120 lbs. soaking wet and Neo from The Matrix can’t sack up and take them out – considering he’s had ample opportunities to crack their skulls in, I call BS on the whole thing. I get that Roth has done a possible role reversal in that Keanu Reeves’ character is the damsel in distress and Genesis and Bel are the typical would-be “male” aggressors, but no one is selling their respective parts. It’s all yelling and screaming and laughing. Reeves is horrible in the film and the women are downright annoying. There’s nothing remotely scary about them. Everyone involved makes horrid choices. This isn’t even funny as one of those “meta” films from recent times. You’re NextThe Final Girls, Cabin in the Woods, and even Scream Queens have done it much better in terms of lampooning the genre(s).

Even when we get to the climax of the film, if you can call it that, was more groan inducing this year than Human Centipede III…almost. Knock Knock also has the audacity to end al la Fight Club in terms of musical cues. In any event, and before I wind up for a real rant, I will say that Knock Knock is one of the worst films of 2015. If you’re a horror-thriller fan then I leave it up to you as to whether you want to invest the time in watching it. The film runs 100 minutes but I can never get those minutes back. The choice is yours.

 

Knock Knock

Video 

Encoding: AVC/MPEG-4

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail: Contrast levels are boosted to hell but that may just be the natural light coming into the fancy house our main character lives in. Sharpness levels are decent, though.

Depth: The interiors fare much better than the exteriors by far. I wondered if I wasn’t just watching an unconverted DVD, because certain scenes are shocking in terms of presentation.

Black Levels: Black levels are not always crush-free but I’ll take them all things considered.

Color Reproduction: The color palette is fine in terms of visual aesthetic but the constant banding and pixilation is awful. I was shocked at how bad the colors have been reproduced. Someone screwed up in post.

Flesh Tones: Flesh tones are also problematic depending on the scene. There’s one scene in particular in the beginning of the film where Keanu is kissing his wit good by and her make-up foundation turns into a “puddle.” I was like did I just see what I thought I saw?

Noise/Artifacts: The video is also quite noisy in parts – and I did pick up on trace elements of debris and artifacts.

 Knock Knock

 

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish

Dynamics: Knock Knock is given a fully lossless 5.1 DTS-HD MA track and it sounds pretty good. My favorite scene is the one where Keanu Reeves spins his Destroyer Kiss record and Detroit Rock City engulfs the soundstage.

Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer creeps in here and there but is only used to punctuate thuds, crashes, bumps, etc.

Surround Sound Presentation: The rear channels handle ambience and miscellaneous chatter.

Dialogue Reproduction: Knock Knock is a dialogue driven film and those levels sound great.

 

Knock Knock

Extras 

After watching the film I was actually curious to listen to the audio commentary by Eli Roth, Lorenza Izzo, Colleen Camp, and Nicolas Lopez. I was curious to see how they would justify the horridness that I had just witnessed. Well, they seemed to have justified it quite well, because we all watched something completely different. Everyone is up on their own jock about how great everyone acted, and what a great story it was, and how cool it was to film in Chile, blah, bah, blah. It’s typical. Eli Roth has always struck me as a nice guy and a fellow nerd, which I’m sure he is, but I haven’t liked anything he has directed since his Thanksgiving short film for Grindhouse almost ten years ago. The commentary is a bit anecdotal but there are parts of it where Roth explains technique and what went into filming, etc., so I guess it’s the best of both worlds. There are some deleted scenes, with an extremely confusing alternate ending and a short making-of featurette. A still frame gallery rounds out the special features.

  • Audio Commentary by Eli Roth, Lorenza Izzo, Nicolas Lopez, and Colleen Camp
  • Deleted Scenes with optional audio commentary by Eli Roth (HD)
  • “The Art of Destruction: The Making of Knock Knock” featurette (HD)
  • Stills gallery (HD)
  • Digital HD UltraViolet Copy 

 

 

 

Knock Knock

Summary 

I looked forward to Knock Knock ever since I watched the fantastic trailer for it months ago but was severely let down. The only redeeming quality this film has is the first 20-minutes right before the “day after” kicks in. Outside of that the film is rubbish. The Blu-ray fairs no better, with a problematic video presentation and a couple of self-congratulatory special features. As much as I love Keanu Reeves and his films (usually) I have to say that Knock Knock is going on my list of the worst films of the year. Bring on John Wick 2! 

 

Knock Knock is available on Blu-ray & DVD!

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Knock Knock

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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