Review: ‘Knock at the Cabin’

Christopher Gomez, Staff Writer

Movie poster of Knock at the Cabin

Would you choose family or humanity? “Knock at the Cabin” creates a suspenseful experience as viewers witness a family vacationing at a remote cabin get held hostage by a group of unknown strangers. “Knock at the Cabin,” directed by M. Night Shyamalan, is a film that’s based off the novel The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul G. Tremblay.

Is the trope that nothing ever good happens in a cabin still true?  

According to Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 69% percent critic rating and a 74% audience rating. “Knock at the Cabin” is Shyamalan’s best score from Rotten Tomatoes since 2016 for his movie “Split.” 

IMDB gave “Knock at the Cabin” a 6.3/10. 

I was hooked after I saw the trailers for the film. I looked into the film’s rating before viewing it. Actors that were cast, such as Dave Bautista and Rupert Grint, made me eager to watch the film, as Grint’s last movie was “Moonwalkers” in 2015.  

I bought tickets and was ready to view it on a theater’s screen. I wanted to see why Rotten Tomatoes and IDMD critics gave it a lower rating than the audience. 

Dave Bautista, a former professional wrestler turned actor, plays the character of Leonard, who claims a family must sacrifice one of their members to save all of humanity. Bautista steals the show, and his performance demonstrates that he can play characters other than heroes.  

Right away, the film gets straight to the action. Kristen Cui plays the character Wen, and she gets approached by Leonard while she’s gathering grasshoppers into a jar. Wen runs over to her two dads named Eric and Andrew. She lets them know a group of strangers are approaching their cabin.  

Leonard knocks on the cabin door, but the family is hesitant to open it. Leonard and his group start breaking into the cabin. The group’s belief is that Eric, Andrew and Wen must decide to sacrifice one of themselves or allow all of humanity to perish. The group warns them of tsunamis, plagues and other terrible consequences if a decision isn’t made. 

This claim raises interesting questions about the group: “Are these people crazy cult believers?” “Is the apocalypse really happening?” “Are these strangers telling the truth?”  

I was at the edge of my seat trying to predict if everything Leonard’s group was saying was all psychological or truthful. 

Shyamalan’s film also shed a deeper understanding about same-sex struggles. Eric and Andrew had been through a lot before Leonard’s group showed up. The theme of the couple being targeted throughout their relationship for being different provides context for same-sex conflicts many endure. 

Overall, I recommend watching “Knock at the Cabin,” as it’s shot beautifully, and its storytelling keeps the audience guessing what will happen next. I feel that if Shyamalan continues this path of filmmaking, he’ll be on the verge of a comeback. This film is a great start to 2023 for Shyamalan, and audiences should look forward to viewing his next film.