Knock at the Cabin, the newest film by M. Night Shyamalan, the director of The Sixth Sense, Signs and even the trilogy consisting of Glass, Unbreakable, and Split. Knock at the Cabin follows Eric, played by Ben Aldrige, and Andrew, played by Jonathan Groff, who are on vacation with their daughter Wen, played by the cute Kristen Cui, in a secluded cabin in the countryside. While playing in the woods, little Wen meets mild-mannered Leonard, played by the phenomenal Dave Bautista. The family’s tranquility then comes to an abrupt end when he, accompanied by three other armed strangers, force their way into the cabin and ends up taking the family as their hostages. The invaders tell their hostages about a mysterious vision and force them to make an unimaginable decision, a sacrifice to avert the impending apocalypse. With limited access to the outside world, the family must decide what they believe in before all is lost.
Knock at the Cabin is a film full of questions right at the beginning, which will only be answered at the end or near the end of the film, something that I particularly love that makes you think about the whole film to the point of being on the edge of your chair to watch, Shyamalan is a splendid director who manages to create tension at its best, generating questions and more questions and almost never it will be answered until a certain point in the film. The whole performance of the film’s story is something simple but masterfully done, I don’t think that the film has anything that would really make it too long, even at 1 hour and 40 minutes I think Shyamalan manages to develop the past and present day very well of the hostage family.
It is worth remembering that the film is not entirely original by Shyamalan, but a story adapted from a book called The Cabin At The End Of The World by writer Paul Tremblay, as a person who has not read the book, I was really interested after watching the film. The film talks about various topics about our world, for example, would you kill a member of your family to save humanity? Is all of this real? Do we really have to believe only on what we see? All of these are extremely important guidelines throughout the film, it is on these guidelines that Shyamalan ends up being a master in the direction of making connections between these 4 mysterious human beings with the past of the protagonist family. Shyamalan really likes to play with his audience and probably what he does the most here is that, with the introduction of Leonard right in the opening scene of the film you feel compassion for that caricatured character and even more when he tells his story as a teacher, the viewer ends up connecting even more with that character, the same thing with the other three characters like Sabrina (Nikki Amuka-Bird) who was a nurse, and Ardiane (Abby Quinn) who has a son and her biggest fear and of the son dying, with the introduction of the past of these characters we are left wondering why these characters are a cult and why they keep imprisoning other people, how people with such a normal past are solving the world apocalypse. It’s all these doubts that make the film so tense and so captivating from beginning to the end. Dave Bautista delivers one of his best works of his career, a simply phenomenal performance, more serious without many jokes as he usually does, I love him being in a comedic tone, but I liked him even more being a reflective and circumspect guy. Shyamalan shows a lot about the apocalyptic things that are happening around the world because of the decisions of the main characters, but nothing is contained beyond showing this on a television screen, even if the characters try to convince the protagonists to save humanity, it does not end up being something convincing and persuasive, so at times the film can divert you from the greater effect that would be the end of planet earth and end up focusing a little more on the protagonist family and how they are going to escape the cabin.
Knock at the Cabin is a very beautiful film, although it takes place only in the forest and at a cabin, it shows what you can do in a beautiful film with several beautiful scenes just using few locations, in this case only two locations. The end of the film is simply something exceptional and stunning with a lavish message. The film as I said is very tense that makes you bite your nails excited to know what will happen in the end, certainly one of the best films of M. Night Shyamalan, an electrifying film and completely out of the ordinary, it all begins with just one door knock…