Arts

Also released: Roth behind camera in new horror

Ana de Armas and Lorenza Izzo in Knock Knock

KNOCK KNOCK (18, 99 mins)

SINCE he made his eye-catching directorial debut in 2002 with the gore-slathered horror Cabin Fever, writer-director Eli Roth has been championing the genre behind the camera or as a producer with gruesome and chilling films such as 2001 Maniacs, Hostel and The Last Exorcism.

Roth stays true to his roots with this suburban nightmare about a father who is terrorised in his house by two young women. Happily married man Evan (Keanu Reeves) kisses farewell to his wife Karen (Ignacia Allamand) and two children, who are heading off on a trip, leaving him alone in the house.

That night, during a bitter storm, two rain-soaked girls called Bel (Ana de Armas) and Genesis (Lorenza Izzo) knock at the door and ask Evan if they could use his telephone. He lets them in, then allows himself to be seduced by them.

The next morning, with the girls gone, Evan is crippled with guilt but hopes that he can forget about his indiscretion. But the girls return and knock Evan unconscious. They inflict torture on him and he realises they have no intention of letting him survive.

THE OVERNIGHT (15, 79 mins)

WRITER-director Patrick Brice explores modern sexual mores in this saucy romantic comedy set in Los Angeles. Alex (Adam Scott) and his wife Emily (Taylor Schilling) are new arrivals in the city with their infant son RJ (RJ Hermes), who has a habit of barging in on his parents during lovemaking. The relationship begins to fracture.

At a playground, one of the other fathers, Kurt (Jason Schwartzman), approaches Alex and Emily and invites them to dinner that evening with his French wife Charlotte (Judith Godreche). They are encouraged to bring RJ, who can play with Kurt's young son.

The evening begins nervously but Kurt and Charlotte quickly put Alex and Emily at ease. When the two boys are peacefully asleep, Kurt and Charlotte reveal their true intentions: something to spice up the respective relationships.

EVERLY (18, 90 mins)

SALMA Hayek takes the title role in Joe Lynch's action thriller, written by Yale Hannon. Everly (Hayek) is kidnapped by sadistic crimelord Taiko (Hiroyuki Watanabe) and held hostage in a plush apartment, where she is forced to earn her keep as a prostitute.

For four years, she serves her brutal master, separated from her mother Edith (Laura Cepeda) and young daughter Maisey (Aisha Ayamah). During her incarceration, Everly hatches a plan to bring down Taiko's criminal empire by secretly working with the police.

When the kingpin discovers her betrayal, he dispatches hit men to kill Everly but somehow she manages to survive the first wave of trained killers. So he offers a bounty to other prostitutes in the building and other assassins in the city to slay Everly. She fends off increasing numbers of attackers, praying that she might be reunited with her daughter.

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