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Double Feature: Knock Knock / The Final Girls

Since it's a month for spooky movies, I'll be reviewing two horror flicks released this year - Knock Knock and The Final Girls. Let's just say one of them is campy fun, the other is horribly dull.

Knock Knock

When two girls showed up on his doorstep clamoring to be lost, Evan Webber lets them in. Things started to develop with him ending up having a threesome with the girls. After realizing his mistake and trying to get rid of them, things turn out for the worst when these two girls started to terrorize him. Eli Roth is known for his horror flicks; I haven't seen any of his work except for this (not a horror fan myself) and I don't know the scope of his talent. But when you're a known horror director, there are expectations, even for a campy flick like this. This however, does not deliver.

The script was weak; lines that don't really make sense with the movie's flow are being uttered out just to keep the thin plot moving. Even the smallest conversations matter; the script was already falling apart in the first minutes (where nothing really happens) and continues to disintegrate from there. It could have used some tweaks to maximize the horrors these girls were unleashing at Evan without making it so cartoonish. I would even accept cartoonish if it was done in a good way, but not so here. 

The movie would have worked with the craziness of Lorenza Izzo. Ana de Armas's character was contradicting - she's very annoying in a really childish way, and yet you can sense some screws tinkering around her brain; she could have been utilized more instead of playing back up to Izzo's Genesis. Both women were good, just a shame that they were given bad material to work with. Keanu Reeves isn't any better. Though casted against type, he doesn't bring anything but stoicism in his screams and struggles to get free from the girls. There's a sense of determination in his character, but halfway through I could sense the actor just giving up and phoning it in. 

Despite the manic behavior of the girls and a horrific situation to be in, the movie was very anticlimactic, bordering on dull. It could have been fun; the trailer doesn't make it seem too bad, but overall it was terrible. 


Final Word: Skip it.

Cast: Keanu Reeves, Lorenza Izzo, Ana de Armas
Director: Eli Roth
Year: 2015




The Final Girls

Amanda Cartwright was mostly known as a campy horror flick movie star. A few years after her death, her daughter Max was invited to a screening of the horror flicks in honor of the movie's anniversary, to which she reluctantly agrees. When the movie theater catches fire, she and her friends tried to leave the building, only to find themselves trapped in the movie they were watching. 

Now this was fun. The movie was self aware that it's a meta campy horror flick and goes the whole way through. It's to their advantage, as the movie managed to create some scares and some laughs. The movie gives importance to the relationship between Max and Amanda (or her movie counterpart, Nancy), with their dramatic end point pulling the story together. It didn't require much from the cast, nor do they appear standoffish or cartoonish. Taissa Farmiga makes a good lead, with Nina Dobrev and Alia Shawkat also giving excellent performances. Malin Akerman was also spot-on, though it's not the usual roles I see her play. one in particular stood out, which is also to their advantage because it wouldn't be that self-aware if someone was upstaging everyone else's performance. 

The way it was shot was very fitting to the movie. It used wide angles that captured the setting vividly, and the symmetry and color scheme used compliments the appeal of the movie. 


Final Word: It's great for multiple viewings; it's fun to watch.

Cast: Taissa Farmiga, Malin Akerman, Adam DeVine
Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson
Year: 2015

Comments

  1. Great reviews! I was going to skip The Final Girls, but you've really sold it to me! Going to have to give this a watch now :)
    - Allie

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    1. The Final Girls was surprisingly funny. I hope you like it!

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  2. Final Girls was OK with signs of some very clever writing, but I agree Knock Knock was just terrible. Just a nasty, mean spirited movie and an unpleasant viewing experience

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    1. Knock Knock really was terrible, I just wanted it to be over while I was watching it.

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  3. The set-up for the Keanu Reeves film definitely intrigues but I'm put off by the negative remarks. On the flip side I thought Final Girls would be rubbish but I might give a shot now!

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    1. I was hoping Knock Knock would be fun to watch. I was wrong about it.

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