Sometimes, a vacation in the woods is just that…and sometimes…it is a choice to make the right decision. This film hit me right where it hurts.
Knock At The Cabin
I am a big M. Night Shyamalan fan, with The Sixth Sense and Signs being my all-time favourites, but I want to tell you why Knock at the Cabin touched me in a way that no other film did this year. Knock At The Cabin is an American apocalyptic horror film that is based on Paul G. Tremblay’s 2018 novel, The Cabin at the End of the World.
Under the skillful direction of Shyamalan, with screenplay credits going to Shyamalan, Steve Desmond, and Michael Sherman, Knock At The Cabin veers drastically away from the book on many levels. I have not read the book as of yet, but know from other film reviews. I am not here to review the book, so l am only focusing on the film, which stars David Bautista, Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Kristen Cui, Abby Quinn, and Rupert Grint.
The film begins with a family, which include seven-year-old Wen (Kristen Cui) and her dads, Eric (Jonathan Groff) and Andrew (Ben Aldridge), heading out to a remote cabin in rural Pennsylvania for a much needed vacation. While the dads unpack, Wen is busy catching grasshoppers in a jar when she is approached by a stranger. Leonard (Dave Bautista) starts up a conversation with the child, but although he speaks gently and in a non-threatening manner, Wen is very spooked and runs off to warn her dads.
I purposely did not read up on the film before watching it at the neighbourhood theater because Shyamalan’s films are best viewed sans the critiques that can be found on the internet. I love to be surprised…and surprised I was. Thinking that my daughter and I were watching a home invasion or worse when Leonard and his companions: Sabrina (Nikki Amuka-Bird), Adriane (Abby Quinn) and Redmond (Rupert Grint) break into the family’s home, it isn’t long before we realize that the four invaders are there for a specific purpose…one that they are willing to die for.
Leonard tells the family that they have been chosen to save mankind. The four intruders have not met before that day. They have all had the same vision…the total destruction of the world. The only thing that can stop this apocalypse is a sacrifice. Someone has to die. The family must choose one of their own to die at their own hands.
Eric and Andrew at first think that this is some sort of anti-gay group out for revenge, and even after the first of the invaders is slaughtered by the other three invaders, the family refuses to believe the consequences predicted by Leonard. Not even the news on TV about mega tsunamis destroying costal cities gives confidence for this family to believe these strangers. Even with a second death and news of pestilence and disease hitting the globe, the family remains united in their refusal to harm each other. It isn’t until the last stranger is left alive, and the last part of the vision begins that the family is forced to make their choice.
M Night Shyamalan has outdone himself with Knock At The Cabin. It is the perfect film for the times that we are living in. There is so much hatred and division in the world that one wonders if any of us would be willing to sacrifice someone in our family or even ourselves for the salvation of the world. How would you react if strangers told you that the survival of mankind depended on your choice to do an unselfish act? The last vision of the sky falling really shook me up. I think when you watch this film, you will agree.
I wanted to tell you something else about this film. It will definitely get people rethinking their lives. The reason that my daughter and I went to the matinee of Knock At The Cabin was because we had just received some unsettling news about my three-year-old great grandson, who is fighting a stage-four horrific cancer. We needed to get out and not think…thus the film. After the film was over and I was trying to win a toy for my great grandson in one of those claw machines, a woman and her husband were leaving the theater. She recognized me and my daughter sitting a few isles in front of them.
She was crying. The film touched her so much, that she asked me if I would be able to sacrifice myself for the world. I told her that I have been praying for GOD to take me and save my little grandson. So yes. I would…I hope…that I am a good enough person to make that choice. Well, we found out that she is also fighting stage four-cancer and she was afraid to die…but also would willingly die for humanity…even though we are all fuck ups.
This is the power that Shyamalan has with his films. He makes us question ourselves. Knock At The Cabin definitely makes you think, and to me, that is the excellence of a film. Does it just entertain us, or does it change the way we think?
Knock At The Cabin is fantastic. Watch it. Try to make the matinee so that you get the full immersion of feelings.