My boyfriend and I sat down to a pseudo-romantic movie night earlier in the week and what says “I love you” more than watching a home invasion horror/thriller! We chose to watch Knock, Knock after discovering it had the fantastic Keanu Reeves in it, and being secretly a fan of Eli Roth’s gorefest Hostel, I thought we’d give it a go. This post will be riddled with spoilers as you can imagine, although let’s be honest there isn’t much here to spoil, if you don’t want to know what happens I recommend that you stop reading. While I found that this film was well made with creative camerawork and a fantastic art department, the direction and script were shockingly bad…even Keanu couldn’t pull this robotic devoted dad character off convincingly. We persevered with it on account of it being hilarious…until it wasn’t anymore because what happened next was pretty shocking.
Two girls show up at Keanu’s door while his wife and kids are at the beach, they are scantily clad and soaking wet from the rain. Their phones are dead and they need to use his phone/ipad/tumble dryer – like the nice guy he is, he lets them. They start flirting like mad and getting all touchy feely – Keanu keeps moving away and indicating that he’s uncomfortable numerous times, mentioning his wife and kids a lot, utilising various “I’m not into this” tactics before both girls disappear into his house. The cab he had called them is outside so he goes looking for them – they’re giggling in the bathroom and he walks in with their dry clothes to let them know that the taxi is outside. He walks in to find them both naked in the bath, coaxing him to have sex with them.
At this point you’re expecting his character to just relent and go for it but he still says no and tries his hardest to avoid their advances, he pushes them away and tells them to stop and they both then proceed to suck his dick anyway. He’s still saying no until he caves in to his body’s natural responses to being fellated. We then see one of cinema’s most well put together sex scenes unfolds, he wakes up in the morning alone…hoping it was all a dream. The nightmare begins as he walks into his kitchen to find them trashing the place and acting like a couple of barn yard animals. He asks them to leave and threatens to call the police when they reveal that both of them are under 18 and that calling the police would only serve to incriminate himself. The guy is feeling pretty shitty at this point, not only did he cheat on his wife but now he’s being blackmailed – if only that were it.
They tie him up and torture him, making him participate in humiliating games and forcing him to watch them deface his wife’s sculptures. They stab him, beat him, rape him and murder a family friend and the moral of this story is somehow about not cheating because cheaters deserve bad things to happen to them. They tell him they are going to kill him, to which he explodes in a fit of rage and a stream of verbal diarrhoea ensues which went something like this:
Death? Death? You’re gonna kill me? You’re gonna fucking kill me? Why? WHY? Because I fucked you? You fucked me! You fucked ME! You came to MY house! You came to ME! I got you a car, I brought you your clothes, you took a fuckin’ BUBBLE BATH! You wanted it! You wanted it! You came on to me! What was I supposed to do? You sucked my cock, you both fucking sucked my cock! It was FREE PIZZA! Free fuckin’ pizza! It just shows up at my fuckin’ door! What am I supposed to do? “We’re flight attendants. Come on, fuck us! No one will know. Come on, fuck us!” Oh, twosomes, threesomes. It doesn’t matter! Starfish! Husbands! You don’t give a fuck, you’ll just fuck anything, you’ll just fuck anything! Well, you lied to me, I tried to help you! I let you in, I was a good guy, I’m a good father! And you just fucking fucked me! What? Now, you’re gonna kill me? You’re gonna kill me? Why? Why? ‘Cause you fucked me? What the fuck-FUCK-FUCK, this is fucking insane!
I initially found this hilarious until I cottoned on to the “free pizza” bit and I started to feel really uneasy about the whole thing. The internet found this film a hoot, and it is in its own way. Switch the genders around and you’ve got yourself a full blown horror film, not a satirical indie thriller. It’s the most horrible victim blaming shit ever! And we shouldn’t have to consider “what if he were a woman and they were men” to see that.
The beginning of this film seems like any man’s dream come true, two hot girls show up and offer themselves to you? Great, let’s go! Except we’re forgetting one thing…it was non-consensual. They raped him. Just because he might have enjoyed it after they continued even when he said no, doesn’t make it any less rapey since it never should have gotten to that point in the first place! He is not a cheater because he was able to climax/enjoy parts of something that he did not want to happen. He turned down the “free pizza” multiple times before it was FORCEFED him and he’s the bad guy for enjoying the flavour of it as it’s shoved down his throat? Nah, I’m not buying it guys. Enjoying the end result of something you didn’t want and fought against does not change the fact that you didn’t want it in the first place. Many rape victims reach orgasm during the act because it is the body’s natural response to physical stimulation – this doesn’t mean they asked for it nor does it negate any psychological trauma. His only option was to be physical with them and potentially hurt them, also wrong. Would we be saying a woman deserved to be raped for not fighting hard enough to get away? He’s not a sleezebag or a cheat as they tried so desperately to make out. Even if he was a cheat/sleezebag, nobody deserves to be raped, tortured and nearly killed because of it.
A lot of online reviews tarred Keanu’s character as weak for relenting but we should also remember that it’s only shocking in this instance because he is a man. Women are subject to strong advances such as this all the time. Many women, myself included, have been felt up, touched up and generally treated as though we’d already consented to sexual acts despite having not been asked or even spoken to a lot of the time – yet we are usually not treated as cheaters for having to endure this. This movie was just another nail in the coffin of the “men always want sex and can’t/shouldn’t say no when pursued by a woman because women are the ones who should be pursued” trope.
Whether Eli Roth meant this to be ironic, I’m really not sure, I suggest you watch it and make your own mind up! For me it was either successfully ironic in its attempt to make a statement on gender and infidelity or I’m giving Roth too much credit and it simply failed in its message of “don’t cheat cus karma’s a bitch” since being assaulted and raped (more than once!) doesn’t class as cheating in my book.