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KNOCK AT THE CABIN

Knock at the Cabin’s worst mistake is that the story is all text and no subtext, with a narrative that goes exactly where you expect it to go, without surprises, ambiguity or genuine moral dilemma’s.


So that’s how it all ends: not with a bang but with a whimper. That might as well have been the tagline of M. Night Shyamalan’s latest thriller, Knock at the Cabin.


The movie makes a strong start as Shyamalan introduces four strangers who encroach upon the holiday cabin of a gay couple and their adopted daughter. The invaders have but one question: that one of them wilfully kills a family member in order to prevent an impending apocalypse.


That could have been the beginning of a taut, claustrophobic, paranoid thriller but the director shoots himself in the foot on more than one occasion. By including flashbacks that add nothing to the narrative and abruptly break the tension for one. Or by having the characters make decisions that are even more stupid than in your run-of-the-mill slasher.


But Knock at the Cabin’s worst mistake is that the story is all text and no subtext, with a narrative that goes exactly where you expect it to go, without surprises, ambiguity or genuine moral dilemma’s. It thus is the rare Shyamalan film that actually would have benefitted from a twist ending.



release: 2023

director: M. Night Shyamalan

starring: Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge, Kristen Cui

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