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Stream It or Skip It? Is M. Knight Shyamalan’s ‘Knock at the Cabin’ Worth Watching?

M. Night Shyamalan is back on the scene with another thriller movie.

Image: Universal Pictures

Warning: Graphic content, mention of suicide, murder, and homophobia.

What is ‘Knock at the Cabin?’

‘Knock at the Cabin’ is the latest thriller/drama movie by director M. Knight Shyamalan. It had a star-studded cast, including Broadway sensation Johnathan Groff, former WWE Champion, Dave Bautista, and Harry Potter star, Rupert Grint.

Trailer for Knock at the Cabin

Although hearing Rupert Grint with an American accent was mildly disturbing, the performance of each character was well portrayed and developed throughout the film.

The performance of nine-year-old, Kristen Cui was especially impressive, considering her experience and age.

The structure of the film was interesting, as it featured flashbacks to help dig into the past of each character, and provoke thought within the audience. The way the characters react to being taken hostage is well explained through this.

The film’s description is:

‘While vacationing, a girl and her parents are taken hostage by armed strangers who demand that the family make a choice to avert the apocalypse.’

Thoughts throughout the film

The vague description leaves a lot of room for viewers to create their own expectations of a film. In reference to his other work, such as ‘The Sixth Sense’ and ‘Unbreakable’, it is clear that Shyamalan is no stranger to the world of thrillers.

M. Night Shyamalan. Credits: Shutterstock/ Sam Aronov

He is known for ‘directing movies with with unexpected plot twists that are often considered ‘twist endings”.

Watching the movie with this knowledge in mind made it much more frustrating, as there were so many alternate endings teased throughout. The clever (and infuriating) part of this was that each alternate ending would make sense- the film could’ve been taken in so many directions. Again though, that is the beauty of a Shyamalan film.

When watching the film, it was almost like rewatching the 2021 Comedy/Disaster ‘Don’t Look Up’, but from the alternate perspective. In ‘Knock the Cabin’, it was instead engrained that the ‘end of the world’ was a ‘delusion’ and a ‘series of visions’, despite the continuing evidence that the world was falling into apocalypse.

Credits: Universal Pictures

The premise of both movies were the same, except with ‘Don’t Knock the Cabin’, there is no way of knowing who to trust. The ‘delusions’ and brutal tactics genuinely made them seem like a cult of some sort. Further into the movie, it was even possible that they were part of a homophobic hate crime.

The cinematography also helped to induce a sense of discomfort, with many shots being close up, and featuring specific parts of the body such as the mouth or eyes.

Is it worth a watch?

This film is interesting, because whilst it is ‘classic’, it also has many contemporary values to it as well.

For example, the setting being in a secluded forest is a very classic trope in the thriller/horror universe. But this versus the idyllic family consisting of two dads, and a child of Asian heritage is definitely a more contemporary approach.

Johnathan Groff, Kristen Cui and Ben Aldridge. Credits: Shuttertock/Lev Radin

In comparison to some of Shyamalan’s other work, it doesn’t have as much of a ‘plot twist’ or supernatural element, however, the film does leave a lot up to personal interpretation and belief. This, in a way, is twisty and unpredictable in itself.

This is a great introduction to thriller, however, if you are looking to explore new genres, as it still has elements of romance and drama, despite some of the more gruesome parts.

Written By

Hiya, my name is Megan! I am currently studying towards a degree in Journalism in Cardiff. I am in my third year, and my goal is to be a successful writer for a women's magazine one day, and possibly specialise in media law! I want my brand to be feminine, meaningful and boundary breaking. Some things about me: Christmas is my favourite holiday, even though summer is my favourite season and I am the oldest sister, daughter and grandaughter!

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