Keanu Reeves’ Forgotten Horror Movie Is Now Streaming On Max

Keanu Reeves stars in Eli Roth's Knock Knock alongside a dangerous Ana de Armas.

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

ana de armas
Ana de Armas and Keanu Reeves in Knock Knock

If you mention a Keanu Reeves horror film, most people will think you’re talking about Bram Stoker’s Dracula. And while few things are scarier than the British accent Reeves tried to pull off in that movie, the beloved actor also appeared in the Eli Roth horror film Knock Knock. This spooky movie is seriously underrated, and if you want to see what you’ve been missing, you can now stream the movie on Max.

One of the first things you should know about Knock Knock is that it comes from one of the most controversial directors in all of horror. Before he directed this Keanu Reeves film, Eli Roth made a name for himself by directing (among other things) the first two Hostel films. Because of this, many blame Roth for helping to popularize the so-called “torture porn” genre of horror, but don’t worry: if that’s not your bag, Knock Knock is a horror film that relies as much on psychological terror as it does on blood and guts.

In this remake of the 1977 film Death Game, Keanu Reeves plays a married architect whose life is turned upside down when two young girls visit his home while his wife and child are away. At first, they ask for help finding a party, but it soon becomes clear that they have a more sinister agenda on their minds. And much like vampires, the single worst thing Reeves’ character could do was invite these girls into his home.

Something we can say about this creepy Keanu Reeves movie that we can’t say about many horror films is that it features some stunning local photography. The movie was filmed in Chile, which Roth has claimed is easier (read: cheaper) than filming in America. And even if you hated his earlier films, an honest moviegoer must admit that Hostel helmer Roth has a good eye for setting horror films in more exotic locations.

Relatively speaking, this is a small film: it only has nine major characters, and that’s counting the adorable dog (named Monkey) owned by Keanu Reeves’ character. While giving John Wick star Keanu Reeves yet another cute dog sidekick is a little on the nose, we always enjoyed seeing the doggo on screen. We also enjoyed seeing Ana de Armas as one of the girls that ends up torturing and manipulating a man who simply wanted to help them out.

Another thing we found interesting about this movie was the tone it ended up with. While it is not a horror comedy by any stretch, it does feature the occasional bout of mild physical comedy that really made us laugh. Given how dark things eventually get in this edge-of-your-seat film, we were happy for even brief bits of comedy because they gave us a chance to catch our breath as we waited to see what new torments awaited Keanu Reeves.

When this movie first came out, the audience reception to it was a bit mixed: on Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rather bleak 37 percent critical score. However, it’s worth noting that professional critics often hate horror, with Roger Ebert himself hating much of the genre. Many horror and genre outlets praised the film for finding ways to innovate the tired home invasion horror genre. Keanu Reeves gives an amazing performance that ensures you won’t be able to look away from each new horrific turn and twist.

Ana de Armas and Lorenza Izzo in Knock Knock

And while neither Eli Roth nor Keanu Reeves would have any way of knowing this, we can’t help but feel like Knock Knock is a horror film that hits harder in a post-pandemic world. We all spend a good chunk of our lives holed inside our homes, and it’s easy to think of this as a place where you are safe from the dangers of the outside world. This movie helps remind us that not only are such dangers ever present, but they are often far closer than we could ever imagine.

While it’s not very likely to happen, we hope Knock Knock becoming a cult classic may help to lure Keanu Reeves into doing more horror films. Sure, his accent sucked worse than the titular vamp in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but he is great in Knock Knock and even had an unforgettable episode of Tales From the Crypt. When it comes to the horror genre, we want this legendary John Wick actor to once again exclaim, “yeah, I’m thinking I’m back!” 

Knock Knock can be streamed on Max.