Knock at the cabin

Knock at the cabin
Original title:Knock at the cabin
Director:M. Night Shyamalan
Running time:100 minutes
Release date:03 february 2023
While vacationing in a remote cabin in the wilderness, a young girl and her parents are taken hostage by four armed strangers who demand an impossible choice in order to avert the impending apocalypse. With virtually no means of communication with the rest of the world, they are left to make their own decision.

Mulder's Review

The director and screenwriter M. Night Shyamalan is certainly one of the most fascinating by his will to constantly seek to approach multiple universes and to bring the spectators to reflect on their place in the current society and on the challenges that they would be able to transcend to leave an indelible trace of our short presence on this earth.  His new film, certainly one of his best to date, poses the important question of what we will be able to do or accept (depending on one's point of view) to avoid the end of our current society. Faced with the approaching apocalypse, would we be able to kill a family member or accept to die so that billions of people on earth can continue to live. 

By co-writing the screenplay with Steve Desmond and Michael Sherman of the adaptation of the novel The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul G. Tremblay, M. Night Shyamalan takes a few liberties with the original story and makes many changes, including the end of the story which differs from the original. We can easily understand his desire to find the apocalyptic atmosphere of the novel and its minimalist setting. We discover a homosexual couple Andrew (Ben Aldridge) and Eric (Jonathan Groff) and their young adopted daughter Wen (Kristen Cui) who have gone to New Hampshire to isolate themselves in a wooden cabin in the middle of a forest near a large lake and especially far from the noise of New York. Their rest will be short-lived when four people invade their cabin, Sabrina (Nikki Amuka-Bird), Leonard (Dave Bautista), Adriane (Abby Quinn) and Redmond (Rupert Grint) and ask them to make an important choice that could prevent the apocalypse and the end of humanity. Andrew, Eric and Wen will wonder if these four people are crazy or simply the four horsemen of the apocalypse. As in each of M. Night Shyamalan's films, it is necessary to wait until the end of the film to be able to assemble all the pieces of the puzzle and this one is particularly successful.

This fifteenth film of M. Night Shyamalan, surprises, questions and offers us a real intense cinematographic experience in which the nature of the main characters, the intertwining of the different information manage to capture our attention without any false note. Certainly this gifted director has a developed sense of time and the smallest detail. He gives to his new film the impression of a goldsmith mastering to perfection his characters and his plot. This thriller reminds us of his first and best films like The Sixth Sense (1999), Unbreakable (2000) or more recently The Visit (2015), Glass (2019) and Old (2021) to the point of making us forget some of his films that had left us perplexed and quite disappointed. His new thriller with fantastic and horrific elements shows that he excels well in his favorite genre and we almost regret the presence of some flashback scenes that break at times the perfect rhythm of his new film. Certainly these bring information on the past of Andrew and Eric but they bring a break to the story even if they are well brought. 

If Knock at the cabin is also very successful it is because of the presence of the actor Dave Bautista who finds here one of his best roles in cinema. This former wrestler known mainly for his many action films such as the cinematic saga Guardian of the Galaxy, or more recently Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy (2018), My spy (2020), Dune (2021) finds here a more psychological role and relying less on his side of ruthless brute. Once again the director M. Night Shyamalan proves to be an excellent director of actors and he gives to the actor Dave Bautista a role very far from those he tends to take in the cinema.  In the same way, Knock at the Cabin, despite its minimalist setting, proves to be perfectly balanced because it relies on a perfect cast.  The great strength of M. Night Shyamalan is to have known how to almost always give important roles to his actors and to allow them to show what they are made of.

The special effects are not absent from this thriller in camera and through the intermediary of the television set showing apocalyptic scenes, we find here all the knowledge of the director able to unleash disturbing and striking scenes. Far from a Hollywood cinema constantly playing the overbidding, Knock at the cabin finds the intact charm of some episodes of the cult series Twilight zone and even if its duration is not about twenty minutes and a hundred minutes, we find this same disturbing and striking atmosphere that we would like to have more often in cinema. Certainly Knock at the Cabin is an excellent vintage of a fascinating director who never stops surprising us and pushing his limits to offer us outstanding and time-tested films;

Knock at the Cabin
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
Screenplay by M. Night Shyamalan, Steve Desmond, Michael Sherman
Based on The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul G. Tremblay
Produced by M. Night Shyamalan, Marc Bienstock, Ashwin Rajan
Executive Producers: Steven Schneider, Christos V. Konstantakopoulos, Ashley Fox
Starring Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Kristen Cui, Abby Quinn, Rupert Grint
Cinematography: Jarin Blaschke
Music by Herdís Stefánsdóttir
Production companies: Blinding Edge Pictures, FilmNation Entertainment, Wishmore Entertainment
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date : February 1, 2023 (France), February 3, 2023 (United States)
Running time : 100 minutes

Seen on February 01, 2023 at Gaumont Disney Village, Room 10 seat A19


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