Movie Review: Knock at the Cabin

A family of three, vacationing in a private cabin in the woods, are met by four strangers who tell them that the fate of the world is in their hands, but it will require the ultimate sacrifice from one of them…

M. Knight Shyamalan is back with another twisted tale for us, and I think this may be his best one yet. The premise is as simple as it gets, and the entire movie takes place in this one location with these seven main characters. I’d love to talk about the plot more but with a movie like this, it would be very hard without giving away some spoilers. This is a film to be watched without any foreknowledge.

What I will talk about is the acting, which was tremendous. Dave Bautista is the big star for this film, and despite his subdued demeanor he shines brightest. Bautista was one of my favorite wrestlers back in the day when I watched WWF/WWE wrestling, and I’m happy that he’s finding success outside the ring.

I’m also glad that Bautista has chosen to reinvent his image as an actor. In years past, he was always cast as the big, dumb muscle, whether as a James Bond villain or Drax the Destroyer in the Marvel universe. It’s nice to see him in more subtle and nuanced roles where he can showcase his true abilities as an actor instead of just hitting things and yelling.

The movie itself is very tense throughout, almost from the very first frame. It’s not necessarily a scary movie, and any violence typically takes place off-camera, but it’s extremely unsettling. There’s a lot of debate between the family and the strangers, with the former trying to convince the latter that they’re having a shared delusion or are zealots being led by a deceiver. In their turn, the strangers plead with the family to believe their incredible claims of God’s impending judgment and destruction of humanity.

I highly recommend this one to fans of horror and suspense films, and even to those of you who may not prefer such movies. It’s available to stream on Peacock, which is how I was able to watch it. It’s also based on the book Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay, if you’d prefer to read that.


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