M. Night Shyamalan’s latest feature film, Knock at the Cabin, is based on the bestselling book The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul G. Tremblay. After 2021’s terrible yet entertaining Old, this horror film marks the filmmaker’s second feature he produced in partnership with Universal Pictures.
Where can you watch Knock at the Cabin in the UAE?
Knock at the Cabin is now streaming on OSN+ in the UAE. Subscribing to OSN+ is AED 35 per month, but keep looking for yearly deals that drop the pricing considerably. There is also a free seven-day trial to decide if you’d like to be a paying subscriber.
The movie opens with Dave Bautista’s Leonard Brocht approaching Wen, a seven-year-old girl on holiday with her two adoptive dads, Eric (Jonathan Groff) and Andrew (Ben Aldridge). It seems neither Eric nor Andrew has ever watched a horror film showing why cabins in the middle of nowhere are never a good vacation spot.
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As soon as Wen sees Leonard is accompanied by three other strangers carrying homemade weapons, Redmond (played by Harry Potter alumni Rupert Grint), Sabrina (Nikki Amuka-Bird), and Adriane (Abby Quinn), she runs inside to warn her parents. But keeping the doors locked is futile, and soon enough, the strangers break in and overpower Eric and Andrew.
Leonard then explains the reason he and the other three people have rudely interrupted the family’s holiday; The Apocalypse is neigh, and the only way to avert it is if either Eric, Andrew, or Wen agree to be willing sacrifices.
A disappointing apocalypse
To show how serious they are, every time the family refuses to kill off one of their own for the good of all humanity, one of the strangers sacrifices themselves and unleashes a plague on the world. Needless to say, neither Eric nor Andrew are sold on the validity of these claims. Yet, every time one of the strangers dies, Leonard turns on the news channel to show the pair a consequence of their refusal to do what they need to do.
While the psychological horror poses some interesting questions and features a top-tier cast, it’s ultimately too literal with its symbolism. Eric and Andrew are the only ones who doubt Leonard and his friends’s world-ending claims, as the film does a terrible job of keeping the truth ambiguous.
Aside from the in-your-face religious undertones, the film has far too many plot holes, making the suspension of disbelief harder for the viewer. The strangers claim they will unleash a plague each time the family refuses their reasonable request to murder each other but fail to explain why. If the plagues are unleashed when one of the strangers dies and utters magical words, can’t they simply refuse to self-sacrifice?
The performances, however, are where Knock at the Cabin shines. Dave Bautista’s portrayal of the physically imposing yet calm and polite Leonard is stunning. The actor shows his talent and how far his range as a performer goes. It was also nice to see Rupert Grint in his first major film role in a while and it’s a shame his character didn’t get enough screen time.
Knock at the Cabin has a very intriguing premise, but the final product is underwhelming. It’s not scary and the psychological thriller aspects are let down by a lack of ambiguity. Most of the characters are annoying, which leaves only Dave Bautista to carry the whole thing on his broad shoulders.
What are other critics saying about Knock at the Cabin (Video Reviews):
Chris Stuckmann gave the film a positive review and was particularly impressed with the performances.
Jeremy Jahns was impressed with Dave Bautista’s performance and the film’s atmosphere.
Movies And Munchies thought all the performances were strong and enjoyed most of the feature, but felt the ending was “safe and flat.”
Lori C. is an entertainment writer who studied Film and Television at University. She watches and reviews films and series from most genres, but some of her favourites include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, The Handmaid’s Tale, Westworld, and True Blood.