Search This Blog

Friday, February 3, 2023



While vacationing at a remote cabin in the woods, a young girl and her parents are taken hostage by four armed strangers who demand they make an unthinkable choice to avert the apocalypse. Confused, scared and with limited access to the outside world, the family must decide what they believe before all is lost.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Cast: Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Kristen Cui, Abby Quinn, Rupert Grint

Release Date: February 3, 2023

Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Rated R for violence and language

Runtime: 1h 40m


Knock at the Cabin is the type of film that lays bare all of M. Night Shyamalan pros and cons as a filmmaker.  The concept and set up are well executed with the film wasting very little time to get the plot moving along.  The script, as usual with his films, has its fair share of clunky dialogue but the cast is able to elevate it with committed performances by giving it a tangible urgency and intensity.  Dave Bautista, in particular, delivers a rather impressive turn as one of the main invaders.  Bautista has quietly been putting together a rather diverse acting resume that shows off a concerted effort to be more than movie muscle.  Here, he gives his character a believably tortured vulnerability which works well as a juxtaposition to his imposing figure.  He drives the first half of the film as he lays out the concept and what his group has been tasked to do.  Nikki Amuka-Bird, Abby Quinn and Rupert Grint put in solid supporting turns as the other intruders.  Out of the three, Grint gets the least amount of screen time but he makes the most of it, making you wish the film had made better use of his rather unexpected turn.  Jonathan Groff and Ben Aldridge are saddled with far less interesting roles as the couple being held hostage with their daughter played by Kristen Cui.  Groff and Aldridge do their best to overcome lazy writing by giving their characters more depth than actually on the page.  Kristen Cui, for her part, is the rare child actor that's able to authentically emote throughout while avoiding those annoying child pitfalls.  Even with its noticeable flaws, the film is efficient and engaging enough to keep your attention until the final act hits.  The film sets up a variety of themes which work better had Shyamalan left the ending more ambiguous, something the book does to my understanding, but instead he leans into a cheap and lazy finale that robs the story of its impact. 


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...