Knock Knock, the new horror thriller starring Keanu Reeves, had an immediate ring of familiarity to me as I clicked the Play button on the trailer (see below).
As an avid follower of horror films and a huge mark for 1970s horror in particular — Alice Sweet Alice is my Citizen Kane — it took me all of two seconds to connect the dots.
The only problem: When I ventured over to the IMDb page, it wasn’t immediately clear Eli Roth had given credit where it was due.
On the writing credits section, there is Roth, but there’s also Guillermo Amoedo and Nicolas Lopez, neither of whom had anything to do with the film that Knock Knock so liberally imitates.
I was about to blow a gasket when at the last minute I saw that, in the trivia section, it says, “Colleen Camp previously starred in ‘Death Game’ (1977), the original movie of which this movie is based on.”
Okay, disaster averted.
So Eli Roth and company know they’re doing a remake (with a different title), and they’re paying homage by bringing in Ms. Camp. All is well.
Now the movie has an enormous responsibility to live up to the flare and subversiveness of the original because when a remake stinks, people mistakenly assume the source material does as well.
Death Game originally starred Camp and Sondra Locke (the former Mrs. Clint Eastwood), in the murderous roles of Donna and Jackson, respectively. In Knock Knock, their names have been changed to Genesis (Lorenza Izzo) and Bel (Ana de Armas).
Seymour Cassel was George Manning (Reeves’ role, changed to Evan Webber in the new film).
The stories in both films are pretty much identical. You have a happily married man, whose family is out of town on his birthday (Father’s Day in the new film).
It’s a stormy night when he hears a knock on the door. On the other side are two beautiful and seemingly harmless women. He lets them in and spends the rest of the movie wishing he hadn’t.
Like the original, Knock Knock looks like it could be a lot of fun, especially with Keanu’s hilariously wooden acting thrown in for good measure.
(“Chocolate with SPRINKLES!”)
Have a look at the trailer and let us know whether this is a flick up your alley.
Also, here’s a look at the original Death Game.
The film played Sundance on January 23 of this year. Look for a wider release later in the year.
[Image via Knock Knock the movie from trailer]