Film Review: “Knock at the Cabin”


  • Starring: Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff
  • Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
  • Rating: R
  • Running time: 1 hr 40 mins
  • Universal Pictures
“The Sixth Sense.” “The Village.” “Glass.” These are but a few of the great suspense films that writer/director M. Night Shyamalan has crafted over the years. Of course, there have been some flops too like “The Happening.” Still, Shyamalan has consistently been one of the most creative and thought-provoking filmmakers of the 21st century. His most recent endeavor, “Knock at the Cabin” is an intriguing piece of work that ranks near the to tier of titles in his body of work.
Based upon the 2018 novel “The Cabin at the End of the World” by American author Paul G. Tremblay, “Knock at the Cabin” takes us to a small, remote cabin where a little girl named Wen (Kristen Cui in her motion picture debut) is collecting grasshoppers. Out of nowhere she is approached by Leonard (Dave Bautista, “The Guardians of the Galaxy”), a giant of a man who has a gentle disposition about him. As he tries to make friends with the skeptical Wen, three other strangers – Redmond (Rupert Grint, “Harry Potter” movies), Sabrina (Nikki Amuka-Bird, “The Outfit”), and Adriane (Abby Quinn, “Landline”) –carrying bizarre weapons draw closer.
Scared, Wen races back to the cabin to find her dads – Eric (Jonathan Groff, “The Matrix Resurrections”) and Andrew (Ben Aldridge, “Pennyworth”) – and warn them about the scary people approaching their house. Eric and Andrew’s efforts to keep the quartet out of the cabin are in vain as they soon find themselves tied up.
What transpires from that point is nothing short of bizarre as Leonard calmly describes how all four of them have been receiving visions about the end of the world. The only way to stop the impending biblical apocalypse is for one of them to willingly sacrifice a member of their family. Otherwise, Eric, Andrew and Wen will be doomed to be the only people left alive on the planet. Andrew is convinced it’s all a scam, but a concussed Eric is not so sure. This leads to a grippingly suspenseful series of events that will leave you on the edge of your seat.
For starters, Shyamalan shows once again that he is among the best filmmakers around. His style continues to be fresh, imaginative, and entertaining. He also knows not to let his stories get too long in the tooth. Other highlights include an almost shocking performance by Grint as man filled with malice and hate; a wonderful breakout role by Cui; and a dominant performance by Bautista. The latter continues to be a genuine treat to watch on the silver screen in every part he plays. His range as an actor keeps growing and he is the true star of this film.
Overall, “Knock at the Cabin” is terrific entertainment and should be on your short list of things to watch.
“Knock at the Cabin” receives three-and-a-half stars out of five.

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