Knock at the Cabin Review: Sacrifice One Love to save Everyone

knock at the cabin

Dave Batista and a group of strangers hold a family hostage to prevent the Apocalypse in Knock at the Cabin

‘Knock at the Cabin’ is the latest apocalyptic psychological horror from M Night Shyamalan, who has more recently become better known in amongst movie fans for having a very hit and miss catalogue. His films always have high concept ideas with strong links to the supernatural, but the execution isn’t always satisfying. So, what category does this fall into? In a strange way, neither.

Every effort is always made to avoid spoilers in my reviews, but I feel it’s important to get this out of the way- there is NO TWIST. The problem with being best known for one particular element is people are always looking out for it. In an age dominated by media leaks, it would be extremely difficult to avoid a twist getting spoiled. So straight away there will be people who are upset by the movie missing this trademark Shyamalan trope but if you go into film not looking for ‘that clever twist’, you’ll avoid being disappointed and can just focus on what’s happening on screen.

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(from left) Eric (Jonathan Groff) and Wen (Kristen Cui) in Knock at the Cabin, directed by M. Night Shyamalan.

The story is of four strangers who invade a Cabin being used as a vacation home by a family. They hold the family hostage and demand they voluntarily agree to kill one of their loved ones or humanity will face plagues and later an annihilation. Obviously, none of them believe this is true, so the strangers set about trying to convince the family that they are not lunatics, and the choice is real. Their methods of convincing the family get increasingly extreme and the more we also learn about them, the more we start to wonder whether they are actually telling the truth

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Knock at the Cabin stars Dave Batista in what feels like his first leading dramatic role, where the focus is emotion and dialogue rather than action. While he didn’t wow me, he handled things admirably. Managing to comfortably switch between menace/intimidation and vulnerability. The rest of the cast are more than adequate.

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The two Daddy’s, Andrew and Eric gave what felt like uneven performances, not always convincing in their relationship or in their assessment and reaction to the situation. Flashbacks are used to fill in gaps and try to put some meat on the bones of their relationship and convey why this choice would be especially difficult for them to make.

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Kristen Cui as Wen in Knock at the Cabin, directed by M. Night Shyamalan.

The film is based on the novel’ The Cabin at the end of the world’ by Paul G Tremblay. The idea that one family in a remote location could have an effect on the rest of humanity is equally fascinating and terrifying. Whether you believe this or not will come down to your personal feelings and belief as it does with the characters in the film.

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Knock at the Cabin is a film about love, sacrifice and belief in something bigger than yourself. The strength, belief and conviction people of faith have can seem ridiculous to those who only accept what is scientifically provable. But at some point, we might all wonder whether something is coincidental or are there forces at play beyond what we can comprehend or understand.

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This movie may not have the fancy ‘Shyamalan twist’ that would no doubt elevate interest and make it go viral but it’s entertaining enough to stand by itself. It manages to raise different kinds of questions for people who do believe in external forces in the universe. If you really did believe the was an apocalypse coming and the end of humanity at stake, could you sacrifice that one of your most beloved family members to save humanity?

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Knock at the Cabin is in Cinemas now, watch the trailer here

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