If Judge David Johnson knocks on your door, run. Run like the wind.
Our review of Knock Knock (2015) (Blu-ray), published January 19th, 2016, is also available.
Answering the door will never be the same.
Facts of the Case
This is about as straightforward and low-impact a slasher plot as you'll see this year. Here's how it rolls: a group of idiot high school chums start getting offed one by one in increasingly disgusting ways and the local authorities are baffled as to who's behind the slaughtering.
Their prime suspect is a mentally challenged weirdo who likes to play with naked Barbie dolls and looks a lot like Viv from Spinal Tap. Sounds good to me, but these crime fighters take their time as they sift through evidence and burn time interrogating dead ends, while more and more of the future of America are butchered in creative ways.
And they are creative. As derivative and uninspired Knock Knock may be in the storytelling department, this thing has serious legs when it comes to the all-important kill count. The sick minds behind the gore effects really pushed the capacity of their budget and churned out some impressive death scenes. Seriously, these folks get smoked. Torsos are stabbed vigorously, heads are whacked of their shoulders, skin sloughs off of faces, victims are subjected to forced dentistry and entire bodies are vivisected and crammed into a locker, all drenched in blood and viscera.
Okay, we've settled the gore factor—it's sky-high and flush with quality. What about the peripheral stuff stringing these sequences together? Well, that's exactly what the plot and dialogue is for, killing time before the next mofo gets his comeuppance. The "high schoolers" (give or take a couple of Bachelors degrees) are uniformly forgettable—horny, attractive, foul-mouthed, prone to quick, needless showers and easy to dismember. They're cannon fodder, but that's OK, because that's all what is called for. The killings aren't noteworthy for the dramatic weight of the viewer fearfully bidding adieu to beloved characters, but rather the sheer inventiveness of the manner in which they are dispatched.
I did get a kick out of the identity of the killer and how it's revealed. It's nothing terribly original, but it makes more sense than most hackneyed narratives in these things. What I'm happiest about: there's no half-assed tacked-on plot twist. I'll spoil it a little for you and say that, no, the killer isn't a diminutive girl with a split personality. And for that I'm grateful.
The disc sports a good-looking video transfer (1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen) and a fine-sounding audio mix (5.1 Dolby Digital) and a surprisingly robust selection of featurettes: "Music and the Sound," "Special FX Make-up," "The Beatdown" (focusing on particularly brutal smackdown) and "Rico Behind the Mask" (a look at the actor playing the killer).
So, you in the mood for a gruesome hackfest where annoying teenagers meet painful demises? You could do worse than this.
Who's there? Not guilty!
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