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  • Writer's pictureMartyn Wakefield


Dir. M. Night Shyamalan

Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield

It's difficult to review a M. Night Shyamalan movie without discussing spoilers and KNOCK AT THE CABIN is no different. A film that balances on a knife edge of "is it" or "isn't it" theories and exposition leading to a reveal that, surprisingly, won't be shocking.

After husband and husband Eric and Andrew take their daughter Wen on a secluded vacation in a cabin in the woods, the peaceful vacation is quickly intruded by four persons with an impending proposition. Sacrifice one of the three to prevent a worldwide apocalypse.

The film too easily portrays the four as mad fanatics, hiding behind well treated jobs or family anchoring's and yet too believing in their convictions to predict that the partners will willingly sacrifice of themselves for the greater good. In doing so the film becomes a predictable and rather safe path of executions until the end.

The converse between the beastly Batista and young Wen is as uncomfortable as it gets as the innocence of youth is ultimately taken away but Shyamalan takes the decision to keep much of the violence off screen, a strange choice for a 15/R rated movie it one that takes any shock factor away after the first death.

Coincidentally, much of KNOCK AT THE CABIN mirrors that of THE CABIN IN THE WOODS in terms of sacrificing to appease the gods and there are a number of parallels and yet despite the letters lace of humour, does so with much more conviction than the sunset drive away here. Those that have read the book have a much grizzlier yet emotional conclusion than the cold blank void that's left here but for what it's worth it's neither Shyamalan's worst film and gives us some great performances from Jonathan Geoff and Ben Aldridge.

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