Combustible Celluloid
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With: Keanu Reeves, Lorenza Izzo, Ana de Armas, Aaron Burns, Ignacia Allamand, Dan Baily, Megan Baily, Colleen Camp
Written by: Eli Roth, Nicolás López, Guillermo Amoedo, based on a story by Anthony Overman, Michael Ronald Ross
Directed by: Eli Roth
MPAA Rating: R for disturbing violent behavior, strong sexual content, nudity and language
Running Time: 99
Date: 10/09/2015

Knock Knock (2015)

1/2 Star (out of 4)

Home Liars Burning

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Director Eli Roth (The Green Inferno) returns with another horrible, loathsome movie, this time gleefully playing around with a home invasion, torture, pedophilia, and revenge, while never seeming to know what he wants to say.

Architect Evan (Keanu Reeves) is a happy family man, who has been in some kind of trouble, but his artist wife and their two kids seem to have forgiven him. One weekend, he stays home to work while they go to the beach. But during a rainstorm, two lost young ladies knock at his door. Genesis (Lorenza Izzo) and Bel (Ana de Armas) seem nice at first, and Evan lets them dry off and warm up while they wait for an Uber. Eventually the women become flirty and the trio tumble into bed together. In the morning, Genesis and Bel act crazy and won't leave. Things turn dark when they attack Evan, tie him up, and torment him. At first Evan thinks only of saving his marriage, but soon he becomes invested in saving his own life.

Details of the main character's supposed pedophilia are kept from us (he has an injured shoulder), so we have no idea just how bad his crime was, but his wife and kids seem to have forgiven him. He does make a big mistake by jumping into bed with the girls, but he more or less earns our sympathies.

This brings up the question of why the women would degrade themselves by sleeping with someone they intended to torture. Other inconsistencies come up as well, but eventually it all collapses into a dumb torture show with characters acting, by turns, viciously and stupidly. It's a waste of time and effort for star Keanu Reeves (what was he thinking?) but at least cinematographer Antonio Quercia chooses smooth, fluid camerawork over his usual jerky stuff.

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