Knock at the Cabin was enough to keep me engaged, but came short of leaving me fully satisfied


Via @knockatthecabin on Instagram

The movie posters for Knock at the Cabin are all unique in their style and portrayal.

I have always been a huge fan of the great filmmaker, M. Night Shyamalan, known for such iconic films as The Sixth Sense, Split, and The Visit. He always manages to leave viewers completely entranced, and there is always some big twist at the end of every movie, as well as a little cameo of his. 

I’ll come straight out and say that I was not a fan of his most recent film before this one, the 2021 movie, Old. It had twists, but they weren’t good ones. I had a lot more faith in this new one, though, and I was so excited for Knock at the Cabin to come out for that reason exactly. Upon seeing it, I don’t exactly know how to feel.

Despite being a genuinely fascinating film, it didn’t have the famous Shyamalan essence, which threw me off completely.

Through watching all of Shyamalan’s movies, I have been completely jaw-dropped at the depth of every single one, but, frankly, Knock at the Cabin wasn’t my favorite. Despite being a genuinely fascinating film, it didn’t have the famous Shyamalan essence, which threw me off completely.

The film opens in a forest with a young girl, Wen, portrayed by Kristen Cui, collecting grasshoppers in a glass jar. As we will later learn, the seven-year-old and her adoptive dads, Eric (Johnathan Groff) and Andrew (Ben Aldridge), are staying at a vacation house in a remote New Jersey county. Their stay is soon interrupted when a man named Leonard, played by Dave Bautista, approaches Wen and sparks conversation. 

Right off the bat, it’s a disturbing scene in and of itself because Bautista’s eyes look empty and he seems to be nothing more than a vacuous being, yet he still looks emotionally hurt. He tells the girl that he has a job to do, and that he needs her dads in order to do it. At this moment, Wen looks distressed, and she tries to run to the cabin, but she looks out to the forest to see three more people walking over with weapons. 

Eventually, these three are introduced as Redmond (Rupert Grint), Sabrina (Nikki Amuka-Bird), and Adriane (Abby Quinn). Along with Leonard, they must collectively carry out some action involving the girl and her family, and it only escalates from here. 

Essentially, Eric, Andrew, and Wen are taken hostage by these four in their vacation home. They are told that they must complete a drastic task in order to prevent the apocalypse.

The film in and of itself is beautifully done in terms of making the audience love the main characters. There are flashbacks sprinkled throughout the film of Eric and Andrew’s love story and how it evolved over time. Each one is somewhat relevant to the events occurring in real-time, so it makes for a heart-wrenching movie. 

It provides a glimpse into the struggles of being a same-sex couple in a beautiful way, and it also references the harm done by homophobia in certain moments. I think it’s amazing that this is being recognized in the media, but it’s also shown in such a light that’s a bit gray in terms of whether it’s good or harmful to the community. It’s a very subjective interpretation of the matter, and I think that can be harmful depending on how it’s taken.

Admittedly, it was an intense film all-around, and its depth was impeccable, but it wasn’t a Shyamalan movie. There were a few twists, but no major jaw-dropping moments like his movies usually have. Unlike his signature style, it was predictable. 

I’m not quite disappointed, but I think it could have had more Shyamalan-esque energy about it than was provided. It wasn’t as bad as Old, but it was absolutely incomparable to The Sixth Sense.

I’m just being pessimistic. I loved this movie, genuinely; but, it wasn’t Shyamalan, so I can’t say it was as amazing as I’d expected.