Qat! Who is there? Why, it's M. Night Shyamalan's Knock at the Cabin – another great movie moment.
Since Shyamalan's breakthrough The Sixth Sense gave us the unforgettable "I see dead" line, the writer-director has specialized in telling stories with a simple, brutal catch designed to throw you off balance and off your guard. After watching, slow down. In his latest film, Knock on the Cabin, now in cinemas, Paul J. Tremblay's novel La Cabane du bout du monde is based on a chilling premise. What would you sacrifice to save the world?
With a quiet January opening," Knock on the Cabin is a small movie with big ideas. He faces the greatest stakes in the apocalypse, but is caught in a brutally intimate microcosm.
Little Wayne (Kristen Koo) is relaxing in a secluded cabin when a gigantic man in a menacing shirt (Dave Bautista) emerges from the woods and hints at a terrifying proposal. Wayne and his foster parents Eric and Andrew (Jonathan Groff and Ben Aldridge) find themselves besieged by a group of fanatics driven by nightmares.
Few films use this setting as a jumping off point for survival horror, in which a family is forced to fend off strange invaders in heart-wrenching, poignant sequences. But the story takes a different turn, one that is more distinct and disturbing. The bastards are both apologetic and apologetic, offering their competition with quiet politeness.
Dave Bautista is great as the leader of a group of insolent sociopaths. It's a looming monolith, a physical nightmare whose complexity makes its sensibility all the more chilling. He's more menacing here than's one-dimensional, muscle-bound villain, and he builds on the silent, scene-stealing vulnerability we saw in .
Rupert Grint (former Harry Potter star in Shyamalan's latest Apple TV Plus series) also excels as the twisted, quivering redhead, adding a dose of brutal instability. Nikki Amuka-Bird and Abby Quinn have smaller roles, but add heart and even some laughs amidst the growing horror.
On the surface, Knock at the Cabin is a chilling horror story that puts you in the shoes of a kidnapped family. From the room's patio doors wide open carelessly to the moment Dad is cooped up in his pajamas, the family is helpless. Wouldn't having a small child cover the parents up (especially if they'd read the book)?
The gruesome side of the story is unfortunate, but Shyamalan seems to be pulling his punches. As with Shyamalan's other recent work, the turbulent atmosphere is reminiscent ofand Get Out. But he's not attached to the villain that gives these movies their shocking bite.
Likewise, the sheer simplicity of the structure will not complement the overall flow of the film. We get flashbacks to Eric and Andrew's relationship that flesh out their characters and help you relate to them. But the flashbacks are perhaps the most embarrassing part of the movie. While it's gratifying to see two people fall in love and support each other's struggles, it's not always as interesting (or at least not as interesting as trying to escape a relentless weirdo in a dungeon). This backstory adds an intriguing and complex twist, but never really allows for development because the characters involved disappear from the story far too soon.
Told sparingly and sparingly, Knock on the Cabin gives us plenty of room to think about the deeper global issues raised by Desperate Dilemma. He is confronted with the reality of a world going to hell and our power to stop it. And unlike the wry tone of Adam McKay's apocalyptic satire Don'tFor Shyamalan, Shyamalan's film more accurately conveys the responsibility we all bear for the future of our planet. At the end of the day, that's the quandary we're left with. What sacrifices must our generation make so that our children have a world to live in?
And of course, since The Sixth Sense, we've been conditioned to expect a twist ending. Shyamalan's latest movie, the beach-set Shocker Old, stripped some of the genre away with a very literal ending that says it all. Cleverly, dings in the cabin make it all the more mysterious.
M Night Shyamalan deserves admiration for consistently producing tense, boring B-movies with great ideas. Saloon beating may not be as nerve-wracking as similar horror stories, but Shyamala's punch is more than welcome when it comes to knocking.
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