For a moment, it seemed like M. Night Shyamalan had turned the corner of his failing career. When the director came out with 2016’s ‘Split’, for the first time in over a decade, fans were excited to see what the future would behold for the once-beloved director.
Since then, it seems like we’re right back to where we started as M Night Shyamalan has come out with one ridiculous movie after another proving that ‘Split’ was nothing more than a flash in the pan or a mistake at best.
There is a rule written in stone when it comes to M Night Shyamalan movies, his films are as good as his twists and if the twist is bad, his films are terrible.
The last time we saw Shyamalan, he came out with the 2021 film “Old”, a film about an island that accelerates aging only to find out that the whole thing was one giant science experiment gone awry. This time around, Shyamalan is front-loading wrestler turned actor Dave Bautista in a movie about the only two gay dads on Earth that can stop the Apocalypse.
‘Knock at the Cabin’ is a film about a little girl named Wen (Kristen Cui) and her two dads Eric (Jonathan Groff) and Andrew (Ben Aldridge) as they are vacationing in a mountain Woods. The family is soon met by a stranger (Bautista) who shows up with an interest to speak to the girl’s parents.
Leonard tells the trio that the three of them are the only thing stopping the end of the world. Leonard is joined by three other strangers who tell the family that they would have to agree to kill one member of the family because every day they refuse to kill someone, a plague will be released onto the world killing Millions.
If the family refuses to make a decision, time will run out and the world will burn forever. The family must make the difficult decision of saving themselves at the expense of the entire planet or killing a loved one to save humanity.
Before we go any further we have to address the elephant in the room, one Dave Bautista. Hollywood has spent the last couple of months hyping up Bautista as the greatest wrestler turned after of all time.
The media’s been spending so much time hyping up his range as an actor that they have gaslit audiences into thinking they will get a great performance out of him.
In reality, Dave Bautista’s acting was better when he was WWE champion because he certainly is not a leading man in Hollywood. ‘Knock At The Cabin’ tries to dupe you into believing that Bautista is a good actor due to the rest of the cast being a bunch of unknowns who aren’t good at selling the story themselves, and that is where the film fails.
The film begs for the audience’s emotion to this nonsensical story of a Biblical sacrifice and hedges its bets on audiences connecting with a gay couple and their adopted Asian daughter. The recurring theme of the film involves Shyamalan stopping the movie to insert scenes showing our gay couple struggle with homophobia as a means to convince audiences that their love is strong and tested which is why they were chosen.
While that might be good enough for people who only value diversity and inclusion, it is not enough for those being asked to spend almost 2 hours of their time watching this joyless thriller. The film is void of any tension or drama.
The characters are unbelievable and the story never makes it off the ground. The premise requires you to believe that four complete strangers found each other due to the visions that they were all seeing, then somehow came to the realization that they had to sacrifice a random couple living in a cabin they didn’t know before they got there.
Then you must convince that couple that they have to kill a member of their family or else the apocalypse will happen. The acting in this film makes Mark Wahlberg’s acting in ‘The Happening’ look like an Academy Award-winning performance in comparison.
The only evidence the film presents as real-world tension are characters randomly turning on the television to watch 1 minute of a local news clip to see that something terrible has happened somewhere in the world.
When the big M. Night Shyamalan twist reveals who these people are and why they were here, you realize that Shyamalan has wasted your time yet again. Audiences waiting for any shred of excitement to happen in this film will be waiting in vain.
Shyamalan fails on a fundamental level to create any intrigue in his story. What you see is what you get and outside of one scene of an impressive-looking tsunami wiping out unsuspecting beachgoers, there is nothing worth the 100-minute investment the film requires.
‘Knock at the Cabin’ is a mundane poor excuse for a horror movie written by three men and directed by a man whose only source of creativity is finding new ways to disappoint his audience.
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