Knock at the Cabin Review
M. Night Shyamalan’s (he/him) Knock at the Cabin — an adaptation of the novel The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay (he/him) — is a truly haunting psychological horror. While taking a vacation in a remote cabin, a little girl, Wen (Kristen Cui) and her dads, Eric (Jonathan Groff, he/him) and Andrew (Ben Aldridge, he/him), are forced by a group of armed strangers to make a sacrifice to avert the apocalypse. With no access to the outside world, the family must struggle with determining the reliability of what the strangers are saying and what they are seeing on the news.
This movie isn’t traditionally scary, but it is certain to have the viewer feeling incredibly uneasy throughout the entirety of the film. The story’s ability to balance sweeter flashback scenes along with the chilling present-day scenes is not only entertaining, but it really makes the viewer feel immersed in the lives of the main family. The movie felt well-balanced in its exploration of the family dynamics along with the life-or-death situation they found themselves in at the cabin.
Just as the family dynamics were not one-dimensional, neither was the hostage situation at the center of the story. The movie explored the way that the (supposed) incoming apocalypse was emotionally tormenting the strangers just as much as the family. This dual-focus largely contributes to the viewer’s feelings of uneasiness as it leaves us questioning everything we think we know about the trajectory of the traditional horror movie.
Some may find this movie to be largely predictable, but I find that this is a part of the charm. In truth, the twist of this movie is that there is no twist, and that is perfectly okay with me. My only qualm is that one of the characters felt pointlessly angry and unlikeable throughout the entirety of the movie.
This character-driven psychological horror is my kind of horror movie as it left me feeling unsettled and scared without feeling like your run-of-the-mill scary movie.
Overall, I would give this 4/5 stars.