Knock at the cabin emotional rollercoaster

New M. Night Shyamalan movie delivers everything promised and more

writer: Hannah Hansen, Editor-in-Chief

Released Feb. 3, the new mystery/horror film Knock at the Cabin, directed by critically-acclaimed horror movie director M. Night Shyamalan and based on the novel The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul G. Tremblay, ushers in a new era of “scary movies.”

With a star-studded cast including Dave Bautista, Jonathan Geoff, and Rupert Grint, the movie tells the story of a family of three—two dads and their young daughter—trapped in a vacation cabin by four strangers, who warn them that one of the three must die in order to prevent the apocalypse.

The 100 minute long movie has perfect pacing, leaving viewers on the edges of their seats, while also allowing them to become attached to the characters–all of them, ‘villains’ included. Shyamalan does a phenomenal job in creating complex, multi-dimensional characters who all have their own morals, motives, and beliefs, where viewers can realistically understand their perspectives. Giving even the most minor of characters a thought-out backstory helps to truly bring this story to life.

However, the unexpected part of this movie was the emotional impact it leaves. Instead of your classic, cabin fever-esque horror movie, this film draws on viewers’ empathy, to the point where many of them can see themselves in the same place the characters find themselves in, stuck in the middle of a terrible, impossible choice. The only way to describe it is as a beautifully tragic story about both the best and worst of humanity.

From the very first scene, where Dave Bautista finds himself in a sweet, earnest conversation on catching grasshoppers as a child with acting newcomer Kristen Cui, who plays eight year old Wen, viewers are given the framework of this movie as it would appear to a young child, with all the innocence and trust that comes with it. Cui, in particular, steals the show with a delightful portrayal of a curious and adventurous little girl thrust into the middle of a dark situation, forced to grow up too fast. Additionally, Bautista also reveals another side of his acting, delving into a more complex, emotionally torn role, displaying the full range of emotions present in his character absolutely perfectly.

Ultimately, Knock at the Cabin blends horror and suspense with tragedy and a family’s never ending love for one another. Its plot leaves viewers unable to look away until the very last tear-filled scene, and the messages in the movie will linger in the back of your mind for days to come.