Time has not been kind to Eli Roth or what you might very well construe as his “craft.” Following the promising Cabin Fever, his freaky debut, Roth has taken major steps to make his films less interestingly, more sadistic, and overall intensely forgettable, if not outright disposable. The first two Hostel films were nothing but sadistic fear-of-foreigners bait with little style and zero innovation; his streaming series, Hemlock Grove, remains the most ignorable show Netflix has ever put to order, and yes, I’m including Lilyhammer. And now, in 2015, he seems to be really going for bottom-rung with the tandem release of The Green Inferno, his thoughtless, borderline racist take on cannibalistic horror, and Knock Knock, his version of art-horror that, from the outset, recalls the more formally impressive works of Michael Haneke.
Lionsgate has released a new trailer for the latter film, which stars Keanu Reeves as a husband and father who is seemingly seduced and tortured by a pair of young women, played by Ana de Armas and Lorenza Izzo. The trailer certainly elicits chills and a hint of fascination, but there’s little doubt in my mind that this is nothing more than another experiment in sadism for Roth, who will next tackle the prehistoric-shark monster movie Meg, which has been stuck in production limbo for over a decade at this point. Perhaps, an honest-to-god creature feature will allow Roth to shake-off the more risible elements of his style and deliver on the promise of Cabin Fever. We shall see.
Here’s the new trailer for Knock Knock:
Here’s the official synopsis for Roth’s film:
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 and written for the screen by Eli Roth & Nicolás López & Guillermo Amoedo and story by Anthony Overman and Michael Ronald, 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 will be released by Lionsgate Premiere in theaters and On Demand on October 9th.