Knock at the Cabin is a 2023 American apocalyptic psychological horror film that was written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. He wrote the screenplay based on an initial draft by Steve Desmond and Michael Sherman. The movie is based on the 2018 novel The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul G. Tremblay, which is the first adaptation of one of his works.
The cast includes Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Kristen Cui, Abby Quinn, and Rupert Grint. The story follows a family of three, Eric and Andrew, a gay couple, and Wen, their adopted Asian daughter, who are on vacation at a remote cabin. Suddenly, they are held hostage by four strangers who demand they sacrifice one of their own to avert the apocalypse.
S P O I L E R S
Knock at the Cabin is a silly movie with a ludicrous premise. However, as an absurdist treatise on religious beliefs, it works well. But as a novel and not as a movie. In a novel, there is more room to develop ideas but when translated onto the silver screen, the stark premise looks dumb. And for once, director Shyamalan plays it absolutely straight! The novel was more nuanced and dealt with ambiguity of the third act events and did it all better.
Knock at the Cabin contains none of that subtlety and barrels onwards to its predictable, inevitable conclusion as two gay men save the world! Not that there’s anything wrong with that in itself but we much preferred the ending in the novel, where the gay couple refused to bow down to the demands of a cruel god that did not count Wen’s accidental death as a willing sacrifice good enough to appease it.
So no twist this time for Shyamalan. Ironic, as this movie sorely needed something to change up its boring conclusion. Next time, follow the novel!
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