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Knock at the Cabin

A review of the movie "Knock at the Cabin", is it worth the watch?

April 14, 2023


Created by Sammy Pessin

After being released on Feb. 3 in theaters and receiving mixed reviews, Knock at the Cabin directed by M. Night Shyamalan presents itself as a true thriller. However, while it is an interesting adaptation of the book, The Cabin at the End of the World, by Paul Tremblay, which has a good premise, it has a disappointing execution and ending.

Knock at the Cabin centers around a little girl, Wen, and her parents, Andrew and Eric, who are being held captive by four armed strangers while on vacation at an isolated cabin in the woods. The strangers warn them that the end of the world is coming and that they have to make an impossible decision to prevent this, and as stakes climb and their anxiety grows, they must make the choice before everything is lost. Knock at the Cabin opens with a captivating beginning that leaves viewers excited and ready for what comes next. As their situation gets worse and worse, the family feels the inevitability of making their decision, and the excitement of the movie reaches its peak, but it is at this point that the movie reaches its biggest problem. After spending the entire movie waiting for the classic M. Night Shyamalan twists, the viewer is left disappointed, as this movie lacks one.  Shyamalan’s other movies like The Sixth Sense, The Devil, The Village, and Unbreakable are so well loved because of the crazy twist at the end of every movie that leaves the viewer shocked and with an entirely new perspective on the movie.  The main point of suspense in this movie is knowing something huge will happen any second, but when the credits roll the movie watcher is left disappointed. The overall story of Knock at the Cabin is enjoyable, but the ending may leave you disappointed.

This movie features a well-known cast including Dave Bautista as Leonard, Rupert Grint as Redmond, Abby Quinn as Adriane, Nikki Amuka-Bird as Sabrina, Ben Aldridge as Andrew, Jonathan Groff as Eric, and Kristen Cui as Wen. All four antagonists are interesting characters, but Bautista’s acting in this movie best showcases his character; a strong man with a gentle personality. Bautisa’s character, Leonard, is a kind person forced to do horrible things, and behind every scene, the viewer can see the sadness in his eyes. Groff and Aldridge also do a great job in this movie and showcase the struggles of their characters well. Their characters, Eric and Andrew, are a gay couple rejected by family and society time after time, are physically assaulted at a bar, and have to lie about being a couple to adopt their daughter, Wen, from an orphanage in Asia. The characters approach their new situation scared, but also with experience of difficult situations. While there are some scenes that leave more to be desired, the cast of Knock at the Cabin overall does a great job portraying their characters.

Night Shyamalan employs the cinematography skills of  Jarin Blaschke and Lowell A. Meyer, who use, throughout every tense scene, an almost uncomfortably close shot of the characters are used to create a claustrophobic feeling and to show the fear of everyone involved, not just the protagonists. As the camera is zoomed in on a single character, suspense is added as the viewer feels stuck with them and waiting to see what is happening elsewhere. In addition, the close-up view makes the viewer feel like they are stuck in the cabin too. Violence and death are often offscreen or just out of frame, only leaving the viewer with the awful sounds to feed one’s own imagination.

Overall, Knock at the Cabin has good acting and characters, well-done cinematography, and an interesting but flawed plot. While it may not be worth a trip to the movies, it is still an enjoyable watch for a Saturday night on Amazon Prime Video.

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