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Knock Knock is a 2015 film that stars Keanu Reeves and was directed by Eli Roth. The first weekend of its release, the film generated about $18k. While it’s an erotic film, it’s also very thrilling. Centering around two young women who make Reeves’ life a living Hell, this film offers more details than the viewer would likely suspect. This is why I wrote this guide.
Keep in mind that there are spoiler alerts here. Before reading this article, watch the film first. It’s currently streaming for free now on Peacock.
Keanu Reeves plays Evan Webber, a family man, and architect. He was supposed to go on a beach vacation with his family for Father’s Day, but a large project had to hold him back for the weekend (though other reviewers said it was an injury, but I remember in the film Evan said he was working).
While he was alone, he gets a knock at the door. He finds two women soaking in the rain, asking for directions. Webber lets the girls in his home use his computer and find directions to their destination. However, this encounter becomes more dangerous than Webber could ever suspect. From seduction to torturous games, the viewer will cringe as they witness unspeakable acts happening to Webber.
Who Is This Movie For?
Let’s just say this for starters: the movie was directed by Eli Roth (Hostel, The Green Inferno). If you’re familiar with the director and his films, you know this isn’t a fun film to watch. However, this isn’t exactly a horror movie, either. The viewer will experience a slew of emotions; specifically, a combination of remorse and disdain for Roth’s character, in addition to hatred toward the two women.
Keep in mind, this movie is unlike other Roth films in many ways. For example, the gore is at an absolute minimum. That doesn’t mean the film isn’t disturbing. I would argue that this movie hits at a deeper level than many of his past films. It takes the stereotypical image of the happy family living in a beautiful home and distorts it beyond belief. If you’re like me and enjoy watching films that disturb you to your core, this is the movie for you.
Cast and Crew
As stated previously, Keanu Reeves stars as the father figure, Evan Webber. The movie was directed and co-written by Eli Roth. Other notable cast and crew members include:
- Lorenza Isso: Genesis
- Ana de Armas: Bel
- Ignacia Alllamand: Karen Alvarado (Evan’s wife and artist)
- Megan Baily: Lisa (Evan’s daughter)
- Dan Baily: Jake (Evan’s son)
- Otto: Monkey (the family dog)
- Aaron Burns: Louis
- Colleen Camp: Vivian
Facts About the Movie
Now, I can’t find specific information about this online, but I think the movie is supposed to take place in California. However, the filming actually took place in Santiago, Chile. Roth explained that filming in Chile is easier than in the US.
Another interesting fact is Knock Knock is technically a loose remake of the film Death Game, which we will cover more next.
About Death Game
Death Game is a 1977 exploitation/thriller film. Knock Knock follows their storyline closely. Death Game centers around two women who are stranded in the rain and ask businessman George Manning if they can wait out the storm in his home. The girls also seduce him, then proceed to hold him captive and torture him in his own home.
So, why did Roth remake this film? A lot has changed between now and 1977. Roth explains his main motive for remaking the film was to center it around the social media age and how quickly information spreads compared to five decades ago. Because of this, the rules of civilized society no longer apply. Anyone can be easily satisfied but also tormented by sharing a simple post — which is what we will cover later.
Death Game‘s two leading women, Colleen Camp and Sandra Locke, also had a hand in the remake. They both receive a production credit, and Camp also makes a cameo. She plays Vivian, one of the couple’s friends. She shows up at their house and offers to help Evan with one of Karen’s sculptures. Genesis approaches Evan and cuddles him. Vivian becomes infuriated at Evan and storms out of their yard.
Who Is Evan Webber?
Evan Webber is a family man and a successful architect. He’s Karen’s husband and the father of two kids, Lisa and Jake.
Evan seems like an unassuming and all-around wholesome guy. He’s happily married and loves his family. While there’s nothing about Webber that screams malicious, we do pick up some facts about him at the beginning of the film. For example, when he and Karen first wake up, they’re about to have sex when suddenly the kids barge in with Father’s Day presents and cake.
When the kids run out of the room, he begs Karen to continue having sex. She declines, saying the kids are awake. He then explains it’s been three weeks since they last had sex. She promised they would make love when she comes back home from their weekend trip.
While Evan isn’t a bad guy for wanting to make love to his wife, this detail proves the physical stress of marriage when you have children. Even though he loves his family, the romantic side of marriage is at a halt, since you naturally focus more on the children. This makes Evan more likely to make mistakes, which he does when Bel and Genesis enter his home.
We find out more details about Evan’s hobbies and passions outside of his family and work. He used to be a DJ and loves music. He has an extensive vinyl collection that wowed Bel and Genesis.
What About His Family?
Karen is Evan’s wife. She’s from Spain and is a successful artist. They have two children together: Lisa and Jake. Their ages aren’t given away, but they look between the 6-10 age range.
Evan loves his family, but we discover certain details that may make him distant from his wife and kids. For example, with his wife being from Spain, she taught their kids Spanish. Evan admitted he can’t speak the language well.
When Bel and Genesis pry Evan about his marriage, Evan admits there’s a bit of an age difference between him and his wife. He said he met Karen when he was 29, and she was 20. In the film, Evan states he’s 43, which makes Karen 32. While it’s not obvious, these minor details may be another reason why he went behind his wife’s back.
Who Are Bel and Genesis?
From the very beginning, the viewer suspects that Bel and Genesis are dangerous.
First, they don’t give a coherent story about themselves. They tell Evan they’re flight attendants. Later, they claim they’re underage (Bel specifically said she’s 15 years old). When the girls meet Karen’s assistant, Louis, Genesis tells him she’s from Dallas, Texas, and attended college over there.
The two girls also hint at being involved with a criminal organization, or at least equally sketchy people. For example, after they kill Louis and paper mache his body, one of the girls mentions an unknown man and said: “he will have a good time with this one” (or something like that). From reading reviews, many people assume this mystery man is the one who cleans up their messes when put simply.
Overall, we just know two things about them: 1. the girls are relatively young, though likely not underage, and 2. the viewer immediately doesn’t like them. Something about them is…off.
For example, they say they took a taxi to Evan’s neighborhood. I’m sorry but who takes taxis anymore? Genesis even states she has a cell phone, they could have called an Uber or Lyft and tracked the address while the driver was dropping them off. I understand not all countries have ride-sharing services, but that’s the most obvious way to get a ride in the US, assuming that’s the setting of the film.
Also, let’s say they had a clear reason for taking a taxi, wouldn’t they explain to the driver that they’re at the wrong address and demand they take them to the correct one? Of course, Evan has to play dumb and not suspect those scenarios.
Off on the weird taxi detail, the girls showed other sketchy mannerisms. For example, they were persistent on staying and clearly over welcomed their stay. They were also prying Evan to spill details about his marriage and were honest with him when they stated that they don’t believe in monogamy. That’s not only disrespectful to say, but seriously? Who says stuff like that to someone you just met, let alone someone who is helping you out?
And guys, I know the whole “two hot girls showing up at your house and desiring you” is the ultimate fantasy, but it’s just that. A fantasy. If it actually happens, it’s more than likely a red flag — especially when the girls show up randomly and know you’re married with kids. And seriously, they do have odd names. That surely means they’re using pseudonyms.
Events Leading up to the Ending
We won’t give away the ending just yet, but it’s crucial to explain some of the events that lead up to the ending. As you could probably have guessed, Evan ends up sleeping with the two women. The next morning, he realizes what he did and immediately knows it was a big mistake.
From here, things only get worse. The girls’ sketchy behavior becomes more prevalent. They trash his house, destroy his wife’s artwork, and taunt him. This leaves Evan infuriated, and he threatens the girls by telling them he’s calling the police. That’s when the girls claim they’re underage, discrediting their previous story that they’re of-age flight attendants.
Eventually, the girls cave and let Evan drive them “home.” In reality, after they drop him off in front of a house, the girls walk in the opposite direction.
That evening, Evan hears a noise. He goes to investigate, only to be hit in the head by Genesis. Evan wakes up, tied up to the bed. Throughout this time, Bel assaults Evan and Genesis films them. Because Evan, a married man, willingly slept with the two girls, they say they will kill him at dawn. Until then, they play sick games and torture him, such as turning the static up on his turntable to deafen him.
The Symbolism of the Male Victim
The “male victim” is nothing new. We’ve been seeing men fall at the hands of women for decades. But Eli Roth has something to say here.
We will describe the girl’s motives more in the ending when they reveal who they really are and why they’re tormenting Evan. However, we can look at what Evan represents as the victim. Well, it’s up to the viewer to decide if Evan is really a victim or not.
First, let’s look at Evan as the victim and the girls as the perpetrators. They did come to his house and seduce him. If they never did, you may wonder if Evan would stay at home by himself and never cheat on his wife during that fateful weekend.
We can also focus on the women as perpetrators. They tie up Evan, torture him in his own home, and threaten to kill him. You wonder if they really have something to prove or if they’re simply sadists. We can also label the girls as predators. They did make several advances on Evan and the first times he said “no.”
However, we can also focus on Genesis and Bel as the catalyst to Evan’s unfaithfulness. You may wonder if Genesis and Bel never showed up, maybe Evan WOULD HAVE cheated on his wife anyway, with another woman. Genesis and Bel were simply there.
We did see from the previous details that Evan and his wife, well, don’t have the best intimate life. That alone could be a reason for him to slip. So, why is he being tortured and threatened? In this scenario, Genesis and Bel represent the guilt that he feels. Remember, they didn’t torment him until after he slept with them.
While subtle, sexism is a theme that’s covered in the film. In the middle of their game, Evan screams at the girls and gives one of the most iconic monologues of the film. He accuses the girls of “coming onto him.” He uses a chauvinistic approach and compares the girls to food. He says they were “free pizza” and “what else was I supposed to do?”
The viewer can look at this line in one of two ways: he’s either calling the girls out on their advances or he’s proclaiming his entitlement to them.
When dawn finally comes, the two girls dig a hole and take the tied-up Evan to the hole. They act like they’re burying him in the hole when really they only bury him up to the neck. Then, they then explain they’re not killing him.
The girls then finally reveal their true intentions. They regularly stalk “happily” married men and tempt them. Once they give in to their seduction, the girls torment them. By doing this, they’re standing up for cheated-on women everywhere. They also admit that no man has ever declined their advances.
From here, they post the video of Bel sleeping with Evan to his social media. They prop up the phone so Evan can see the reactions and comments while he struggles to free himself. From here, the girls leave his house and take his dog with them.
Shortly after, Karen and the kids return home. They see the house is completely destroyed, and her artwork is ruined. She stares in disbelief as Jake says, “Daddy had a party.”
Was There an Alternate Ending?
There was! The alternative ending wasn’t available on the Netflix edition. I also didn’t see it on the Peacock edition that I watched. As stated previously, the girls take the family pug, Monkey. Little do they know, Monkey’s collar has a GPS tracker. From here, Evan is able to trace the girls back to another man’s house. Dread Central provided this clip, but I’m not sure if it’s available anywhere else.
Answer: While I covered some of the main themes and explanations of the film, I didn’t cover the art of exploitation films.
The exploitation genre covers a wide range of taboo topics. For Knock Knock, this film covers coercion and abuse, not too friendly topics but are still prevalent in society. While most exploitation films view women as the victims, this one and Death Game portray men as the victims and women as the perpetrators.
Again, it’s a taboo topic that’s alarming. While not all exploitation films have underlying messages, this one does. It makes the viewer think who’s the one at fault: Evan Webber or the girls.
Answer: He absolutely has but in surprising ways. For example, he states how he likes that the house is a character. And it absolutely is. It was no accident that Karen was portrayed as an artist. There’s beautiful artwork all over the house, and the design is picture-perfect. The girls destroying the house represent them destroying Evan’s life, his marriage, and everything beautiful in his world.
The home is also an important metaphor. We think of the house as a safe haven. But films such as Knock Knock challenge this notion. That when we get too comfortable, we tend to make mistakes. Such as letting in two complete strangers.
The house also represents his marriage. Again, the house was gorgeous before Genesis and Bel show up. After they leave, the house is a wreck. It foreshadows what’s about to happen to Evan’s and Karen’s marriage.
Answer: First and foremost, Knock Knock is not a kid’s movie. It’s rated R, for one thing. It also deals with themes that are not appropriate for children, such as sex, nudity, and violence/torture. However, if your child is in their old teen years, such as 17, they’re likely mature enough to handle this film.
Knock Knock is an Eli Roth film that has received both praise and criticism. But I think the criticism comes from the fact that many viewers may not have understood the message behind this film. A happy family man is now begging for his life in this exploitative thriller that covers topics such as infidelity, sexual coercion, and violence. At the end of the film, the viewer needs to decide who’s the one at fault: the girls or Evan.
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