I suppose in theory, the argument posed by the devilishly good looking and deviously conniving pair of females at the heart of Knock Knock holds up.
A cheater is a cheater, no matter under what circumstances the cheating might have occurred.
But what if you are ambushed in your own bathroom by two very nubile and very naked young ladies, like poor Evan (Keanu Reeves) was? Surely he should be given a pass, no matter how married he is. After all, the scene gives the impression of coercion rather than seduction.
Alas, that is not to be Genesis (Lorenza Izzo) and Bel’s (Ana de Armas) reasoning. Evan must pay for his infidelity.
It is all part of a twisted game to gauge a man’s morality, as the girls put it at one point, albeit a game that is rigged from the start. I wonder who among the male viewers would be able to actually emerge victorious from such competition.
And yet, it makes a certain sense. Temptation is not supposed to be fair. The reason why it is rare to encounter a person of true integrity is because all the others who claimed they did as well, gave in to their desires the minute their character was put on trial.
Throughout the movie, Evan keeps repeating what a good man and upstanding father he is, but he is not trying to convince his captors of it; he’s trying to convince himself.
Genesis and Bel are angels come to this world to unmask humanity’s failures and judge them for it. Is the punishment too excessive? That is for each viewer to decide.
Do the themes of morality and righteousness make this a good film? Not necessarily. Eli Roth’s decision to play this as both satire and psychological horror means the movie is always good at one thing but constantly failing at the other. Despite of its failings, it is clear to this writer, after having seen Roth’s entire oeuvre, that this is by far his most accomplished picture.
If the commitment displayed here, in which he manages not to chop anybody up for 90 minutes, is maintained, then perhaps his next endeavor might be worth a trip to the cinema after all.