Monday, December 28, 2015

Knock Knock Blu-ray Review

When 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 (John Wick) 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 when his good intentions lead to deadly consequences when he helps two strangers who ask for his assistance.
Film (2 out of 5 stars)
Knock Knock is a remake of the 1977 horror film Death Game. I have not seen Death Game but I’m not a huge fan of 70s horror. Although he’s not everyone’s cup of tea, I am a fan of Keanu Reeves. I was recently thrilled with John Wick, and I even liked 47 Ronin and I am not even ashamed to admit that I also like Speed. Knock Knock must not have been treated to a lengthy theatrical release because I missed it in the theater, so the Blu-ray was my first viewing.

Evan Webber (Keanu Reeves) is your typical family man. He works as an architect and has a happy life with his wife and two children. Evan’s wife is an artist and their home is decorated with a combination of family photos and her art projects. When the family goes out of town for a weekend, Evan stays behind to get caught up on work. 

Evan takes advantage of the empty house and turns up his music while working late at night. He’s not sure if he heard a knock at the door, but a second knock draws him out of his home office/kids playroom. At the door are two young women who have been soaked in the downpour. They are in search of a party and are lost. Evan invites the young ladies into his home and tries to help. He gets them towels and lets them use Facebook to find the party. When the girls ask to put their clothes in his dryer the audience starts to realize that it is not a good idea for the young ladies to take off their clothes.

The girls, Genesis (Lorenza Izzo) and Bel (Ana de Armas) quickly become too comfortable and overly playful. Evan is at first annoyed, and eventually angry but when he finds the girls naked in his shower….well what’s a guy to do. In the morning, Evan wakes with serious regret. Unfortunately Genesis and Bel are not gone and they’ve made themselves at home. Evan obviously fears that his wife will find out about his night of partying with the girls but he soon realizes that he has bigger problems than that.

Eli Roth is the director of Hostel, a film not everyone can sit through. I happened to enjoy it very much even if the torture gets a bit hard to watch. When I heard that he was directing this film and Keanu was starring in it, I was very optimistic about the result. My hopes were admittedly set very high and this film let me down. Keanu spends a lot of the film screaming in a way that makes you realize why people make fun of his acting style. It is also hard to believe that two small women are able to overpower and control him so well. I was waiting for Keanu to slam both their heads together and call it a day. The film does create a significant bit of tension but not enough thrills. This is not a horror film at all. The psychological elements failed with me because it didn’t keep me guessing. I knew from the beginning where it was all going. The only question was would Evan live to tell the tale?
Video (2 out of 5 stars)
Knock Knock is presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen 16x9 ratio. The contrast appears off or maybe it is just the overabundance of natural light in the home. This looks more like DVD than Blu-ray quality. After a while its stops becoming a problem you notice but when the film begins the lack of crisp picture with inaccurate skin tones, especially from Evan’s wife.
Audio (4 out of 5 stars)
The English DTS-HD MA 5.1 track fares better than the video presentation. When Keanu cranks the music the sound is not distorted and you feel the bass. The subwoofer only really kicks in throughout the rest of the film to accentuate things breaking or being tossed around. Dialogue is intelligible and consistent throughout the film.
Extras (2 out of 5 stars)
Although I didn’t enjoy the film, I was interested to here Eli Roth’s take on it during the commentary. I didn’t hear his admission that this is a bad movie that I'd hoped to hear, as everyone involved seems very proud of their work.

The Blu-ray contains the following supplemental features: 
  • Audio Commentary by Eli Roth, Lorenza Izzo, Nicolas Lopez, and Colleen Camp – Both technical and anecdotal information from Roth and the team. 
  • Deleted Scenes with optional audio commentary by Director/Co-writer Eli Roth 
  • “The Art of Destruction: The Making of Knock Knock” featurette – your typical behind the scenes information. 
  • Stills gallery 
  • Digital HD UltraViolet Copy 
Summary (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Knock Knock was high on my list, and I don’t know that I’ll ever revisit the film. Because I love Keanu Reeves, I’ll keep it on the shelf but will put it far away from The Matrix and John Wick out of respect. This isn’t the film that will make husband everywhere think twice about adultery. It didn’t feel like this could happen to anyone and the girls are so annoying I just wanted them to die quickly. Keanu’s character should have been able to take the girls out early on and the attempts at twists and turns didn’t keep me captivated. Watch it when it comes to your movie channel, don’t waste the money on the Blu-ray until you see it and decide for yourself.

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