In true Shyamalan fashion, Knock at the Cabin keeps you on edge and makes you feel every emotion.
Technical Merit

Review: Knock at the Cabin joins Shyamalan’s list of classics

M. Night Shyamalan has returned with another thought-provoking piece, Knock at the Cabin. A film that relishes in building tension while also providing viewers with a great group of characters to invest in. Shyamalan has garnered a reputation for being hit or miss but as a fan of his work, I’m proud to say this was one of his best outings since Split. In true Shyamalan fashion, Knock at the Cabin keeps you on edge and makes you feel every emotion.

Based on the novel by Paul Tremblay, Knock at the Cabin is a terrifying exploration of humanity, faith, and trauma. Three ingredients one would tend to find in any Shyamalan project. On a technical level, Knock at the Cabin is almost perfect, but the story can sometimes drag. Thankfully, a talented group of actors enhances the narrative that unfolds, especially Dave Bautista. Knock at the Cabin follows a young girl named Wen, and her two fathers. During a getaway, Wen and her parents are confronted by four strangers that want their help to prevent the apocalypse.

Shyamalan co-wrote this terrifying story alongside Steve Desmond and Michael Sherman. Knock at the Cabin stars, Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Rupert Grint, Abby Quinn, and Kristen Cui. Cui stars as Wen, a young child who is forced to face an unfortunate reality with her parents. Eric and Andrew, played by Groff and Aldridge, are Wen’s parents. Together they must choose which one of them will die to stop the apocalypse. Up until that decision, the film does a great job at developing this trio. Eric and Andrew both have different outlooks on humanity, and we learn this through various flashbacks.

There are enough layers pulled back that help give their decision emotional weight later on. As for our intruders, Bautista plays Leonard, a school coach who has a big heart but must make an unforgivable choice to save humanity. Leonard has brought three other individuals with him. Redmond (Grint), Sabrina (Bird), and Adrienne (Quinn), all appear to be sharing a delusion. Shyamalan is able to tell a compelling story that challenges your perspective with each new possibility proposed by Andrew, who doubts that the apocalypse is near. There are some twists that don’t completely work but do provide more depth to our trio.

A few exposition dumps can weaken the tension because it contradicts previous events. The film can feel tonally uneven, specifically early on during comedic moments that don’t fit. Once those are gone, Knock at the Cabin becomes a tense and stressful experience to endure. Perhaps the constant closeup shots might grow tiresome, but the camerawork overall is very impressive. Bautista’s performance is tremendous from start to finish. Leonard’s inner sorrow and regret are conveyed in a profound way that makes him easy to feel sorry for.

It’s also what continues to challenge whether you believe these intruders. Shyamalan was also able to secure yet another excellent child performance. Cui, Aldridge, and Groff all had terrific chemistry that made their family dynamic believable. When the movie isn’t becoming incoherent with its desire to explain, the family at the center keeps the story afloat thanks to the performances enhancing the characters. The pacing isn’t perfect, but the important sequences are able to breathe, letting the viewer feel the emotions involved with the story.

Knock at the Cabin is sure to be divisive like several other Shyamalan projects, which is fine. A new Shyamalan film always sparks a discussion amongst moviegoers before and after its release. This latest outing is an effective exploration of humanity, drenched in constant tension that swells to an emotionally draining conclusion. I’m certain the symbolism that exists throughout the film will allow it to be considered a hit by most viewers.

Eric Trigg
Eric Trigg
 I am a Horror fanatic that can't go a single month without watching something horror related. Buffy Summers, Sidney Prescott, and Harry Potter for president. The fact that sequels exist proves there is no perfect film. 
In true Shyamalan fashion, Knock at the Cabin keeps you on edge and makes you feel every emotion.Review: Knock at the Cabin joins Shyamalan's list of classics