By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
Director and screenwriter M. Night Shyamalan
is back with "Knock at the Cabin,"
a suspenseful, psychological thriller that is based on Paul G. Tremblay's
2018 novel, "The Cabin at the End of the World." This movie is so good that I want to read the book now.
"Knock at the Cabin" is less than two hours long and it wastes little time getting down to business. It begins with an adorable, little girl named Wen (a terrific Kristen Cui in her big screen debut). She's outdoors collecting grasshoppers to study them. Her tranquil moment is abruptly interrupted when a massive looking guy named Leonard (Dave Bautista, "Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery") slowly makes his way toward her.
Wen knows better than to talk to strangers, but Leonard is nice and considerate. He even offers to help her collect grasshoppers. Within minutes the two are talking about being friends. Still, Wen is very astute for her age and senses something isn't right about this guy especially when Leonard tells her that he needs to immediately talk with her adoptive parents Eric (Jonathan Groff, "Hamilton") and Andrew (Ben Aldridge, "Spoiler Alert").
Then when she sees three of Leonard's sidekicks: Redmond (Rupert Grint, TV's "Servant"), Adriane (Abby Quinn, "Torn Hearts") and Sabrina (Nikki Amuka-Bird, "Old") carrying some huge, homemade weapons and they insist on going inside the cabin, she bolts and finds her parents and tells them about the creepy looking people lurking outside.
Suddenly, Leonard and his crew have burst into the vacation cabin. They tie up Eric and Andrew while explaining why they are there. It's definitely not good news. Leonard tells them that they must kill one of their own to avert an apocalypse that will wipe out mankind.
At first Eric and Andrew think that this is just some sort of crazy, cult or religious thing, but Leonard swears it's not. Eric and Andrew aren't buying into his ridiculous doomsday scenario. Yet, the fate of humanity is in their hands.
Their indecision comes with dire consequences. Soon, Andrew begins to slightly change his tune when he sees firsthand the broadcast news of the global destruction taking place.
Could Leonard really be telling the truth?
Shyamalan pumps up the suspense at every turn and keeps you guessing as to how this all plays out. The cast is sensational. Groff and Aldridge are convincing as overly protective parents and you certainly root for them and Wen (Cui) to survive this horrendous ordeal.
Even the bad guys are fully developed and have their own unique story that leaves you torn between their vision and truth. Oddly, you kind of want a good resolution for them as well.
Bautista is the story. He naturally strikes a commanding pose and really anchors the movie with brawn and charisma. It's another distinguished role for him and it comes on the heels of his star turn in "Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery."
With "Knock at the Cabin" Shyamalan has delivered an emotional and haunting drama that works in every way.
Be sure to catch my N2Entertainment.net movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays now at 5:17 p.m. and 6:47 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.
Look At This Trailer For "KNOCK AT THE CABIN"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.