Imagine you are a happily married man and a father of two. You are home alone for a rather long weekend and you are visited upon by two gorgeous young ladies. They provocatively invite you into getting cozy with them and doing everything that you shouldn’t as a husband and a father. What would you do? In the answer to that question lies the basic premise of the film. As a viewer, if your answer is yes then you should see the rest of the film to know what could be the consequences in submitting yourself to your darkest fantasies. If the answer is no then probably this isn’t the film for you.
Knock Knock could have been an interesting film. But somewhere down the line it just loses its appeal. The girls start off strong and have Evan (Keanu Reeves) fall for their oozing charm. The scenes where they go after him are notoriously catchy and when finally he gives in, it’s not that big a shock after all that he has been through. However what follows is inexplicable up to a large extent. The girls suddenly turn savage and go about destroying Evan’s existence by not only desecrating his home and everything that makes it up but also by making his philandering known to his wife and all who care to drop in.
Towards the end, Evan breaks out in all his frustration and asks the girls what he was supposed to do when they literally begged him to consummate with them and also assured that they wouldn’t let the cat out of the bag. The girls keep smiling like they have all the way through and tell him that he should not have. He should have controlled his urge. What he did was an insult to his wife and children. My question is why did the girls do it in the first place? Going by how the story ends, they seem to have been doing this for a while and there is no reason or background provided for their acts. In a brief scene one of the girls, Bel (Ana de Armas) forces Evan to consummate while she is wearing a school dress which belongs to Evan’s daughter. As she does that, there are hints to the fact that she may be a victim of childhood abuse but that too is not made clear.
The girls harm others who have practically got nothing to do with the whole predicament of Evan and it is never explained why. The girls, in the end tell Evan that they have been trying out the same trick with many others and none of them have ever come out trumps. Again the question remains why are they doing this? What is their driving force behind such an act? By the end of the film, our condition as the viewer is similar to that of Evan. Dazed and confused. If the director chose to make the film as ambiguous as it turns out, then there is nothing to complain sans the fact that such cinema has little chance of working out for majority of the audiences. There is just too much of ambiguity and too many unanswered questions that too important ones.
Coming to the performances, the film stands tall in that department. The three principal characters work because of the way they are essayed by Keanu Reeves, Lorenza Izzo and Ana de Armas. Reeves is always a safe bet with acting and he pulls his weight most of the time. This time around he has two seductress keeping him company. The two girls are of different kind. While Armas is a fluffy and almost childlike personality who categorically keeps calling Evan “Daddy”, Izzo’s genesis is strong and unflinching like what you generally associate with a dominatrix. The three will keep you interested in the screenplay right up till the time you start asking the question, why.
The film falters because of the lack of a valid reason for the antagonists to have been doing what they are. The inspiration is a key element which gives a film like this the reason which carries the story forward and makes it effective. That’s what is missing here. The film also tends to get slow from time to time. The climax is left ambiguous again when we see Evan’s family returning and seeing the house in ruins but Evan is nowhere to be seen. This is a film which will work only for those who are in it for the skin show. There isn’t much of that, if I may add. Rest, the lack of logic, reason and also the somewhat repetitive treatment makes this film uninspiring and a drag. It’s a onetime watch at best.