There's just something about 80's throwback films that I can't get enough of. As soon as I hear a synth soundtrack and see the washed-out, grainy picture, I'm immediately taken back to the magnificent days of my childhood, scouring the video store with my mom to find the next horror treasure.
So when director Toby Canto sent over his latest feature, Knock Knock, you bet your sweet neon jumpsuit I was excited! Touted as a mixture of Fright Night and The Monster Squad, with a dash of "Scooby Doo" and a bitchin' John Carpenter-esque soundtrack, my expectations were rather high for this flick and I have to say, for the most part, they were met.
In the film, a down-on-his-luck former boxer Sam Grant (Kerry Tartack) finds himself caught in a whirlwind of conjecture and conundrum as his colorful and quirky neighbors (Sisi Berry, Chuk Hell, Rachel Atterson) ignite an investigation into their apartment complex's mysterious new resident (Lucas Ayoub). Will the night reveal any truth to the neighbors extraordinary claims or will their imaginations manage to get the best of them?!
I found myself entertained throughout the film's 54 minute run time and was rather impressed with what Canto was able to achieve on such a limited budget. Knock Knock has a nice little creepy and suspenseful vibe to it that kept me intrigued and wanting more, Honestly, my only real issue with the film is that it takes nearly 45 minutes or so of building to get to the climax and then feels rushed at the end. I feel with a longer run time, things could've been fleshed out a little better. The actors did well in their roles and all brought something unique to the table. I found myself laughing quite a few times, especially at Chuk Hell's character, Dragon, the unemployed stoner of the group.
Overall, I'm impressed with what Toby Canto has achieved with his second feature and I will definitely be keeping my eye on his future projects! The soundtrack by Steven Canham was fantastic as well!
If you're looking for the next film to scratch your nostalgic itch, give Knock Knock a watch, I'm sure you'll be reminded of the quirky and enjoyable VHS films of the 80's.
3.5 out of 5 coffins.