By Luke MacGregor
After seeing Rafi from The League early Friday (pictures are in my first post), little did I know what celebrities I’d run into later that day.
Trust me, I was excited as hell to see Eli Roth’s new suspense/thriller starring Keanu Reeves at 11:45PM on Friday night as I trekked across town. Approaching the Library Theater (where my movie was playing), I noticed a buildup of people around the exit, which seemed peculiar and caught my attention. As I walked up to the crowd, here’s who came out of the theatre:
Kevin Pollak (The Usual Suspects) – reluctant to interact with fans, and looking a tad grey.
James Marsden (The Cyclops from X-Men) – created a type of giggling from girls that’s unparalleled by anyone but maybe Justin Bieber.
Jack Black – The best thing that’s happened to me this year so far was finding out that Jack Black has the same qualities in person as he does in the movies; a charismatic, fun loving, optimistic dude. For example, after signing a fans memorabilia, he says “skibadido” in a light heated manner under his breath as he skids to the next fan wanting to enjoy his award winning persona. In simpler terms, he radiated positivity down the street.
Meeting Jack Black alone gave me a much needed shot of adrenaline at 11:30PM as Knock Knock was just about to begin. Here is my review of the film:
KNOCK KNOCK REVIEW
<No Spoiler Alert Yet>
Being one of the most highly credited directors at the festival, directing Hostel 1 & 2, Cabin Fever, and having experience directing alongside the legendary Tarantino on a number of films, Eli Roth was sure to present a powerful, artistic, and deranged film in Knock Knock which is exactly what he did. Knock Knock is not only terrifying in a similar way Gone Girl was, in the sense that the protagonist feels absolutely hopeless in the hands of the antagonist, but it’s additionally just as emotionally scarring. With a unique performance from Keanu Reeves and amazing breakout performances by Ana De Armas (who will definitely play a big role in the next generation of highly accredited actresses) alongside her perfect puzzle piece Lorenza Izzo (who offers a compelling performance) the small cast utilized the saying “less is more” effectively. Anyone who has an appetite for the sick and deranged will adore Knock Knock.
After the film, Roth and the cast answered questions and discussed the movie in some detail. After the picture below, I will tell you what Eli Roth said was the message of the film and there will be a spoiler alert for that section; consider yourself forewarned.
From left to right, there’s Roth, Izzo, Reeves, and De Armas.
<Spoiler Alert Begins>
The conclusion of the film is incredibly powerful and breathtaking in a catastrophic way; and is somewhat left to interpretation. When asked what the message of the conclusion was, Eli Roth replied that the film explored the depths of darkness within the human experience: unfaithfulness, regret, mistakes, power abuse, and decision making. Keanu Reeves, being the interesting person he is, mentioned that he actually thought he was the antagonist in the film and the girls were actually the protagonists, reaping salvation on a bad man.
<Spoiler Alert Ends>
The one thing that really struck me about the Q&A wasn’t what was said about the movie, but it was the insight I gained about the unique actor Reeves. Many people, my girl friend included, don’t like Keanu Reeves as an actor, and I think I figured out the reason why! When you hear Reeves talk, he clearly has a Zen-Master personality type (which is why he was so good at keeping his cool through every Matrix movie). Therefor, when Reeves is in character acting out anger, discontent, frustration, or other emotions that don’t bode well with his natural personality, he has a hard time expressing them as an actor. In simpler terms, Keanu Reeves is naturally a very relaxed and calm person who appears almost awkward, as other actors do, when expressing emotions outside of his Zen-mentality.
<Spoiler Alert Begins But Who Cares, You Shouldn’t Watch This Movie Anyway>
Trying to keep the creepy/horror vibes alive, I saw the movie H. last night, which is basically a science fiction analogy of the fall of Troy. The music and acting in the movie were very tasteful, however the film itself made as much sense as my description. Every plot point that was constructed was left open ended, and every scene in the movie was left up to interpretation. The movie itself was more of an interpretation than a film, and I wouldn’t recommend it unless the fall of troy is a particular time period that interests you. And no, by being interested by that time period I don’t mean merely liking the Brad Pitt movie Troy because that movie was good and my subjective opinion is that this one was not.
I have 15 movie tickets over the next 6 days and much more fun to be had. 4 days in, the festival has been a once in a lifetime experience that I am fortunate to have.
Thanks for reading!