the Cabin (2023)
Knock at the Cabin
(based on "The Cabin at the End of the World" by Paul G.
With his previous film,
M. Night Shyamalan took a good idea and ultimately went a little
overboard. Not exactly an unusual trait for his less successful
films. With his latest feature, Knock at the Cabin, the
opposite might for once be the case. Again, the premise is
promising: A small family consisting of two dads and their adopted
7-year-old staying at a rented cabin in the woods of Pennsylvania
are approached by four visitors who claim that the world is coming
to an end, unless certain conditions are met. The power is put in
the hands of our protagonists. And the tension soon becomes
palpable, not least thanks to Shyamalan's characteristic ability to
infuse his scenes with an undercurrent of terror. The early to
middle parts of Knock at the Cabin are the most effective.
The hopelessness of the situation really gets to you. And the film's
equilibrium lies in the trustworthyness of the visitors. Are they
crazed cultists? Or are they... well crazed cultists who happen to
be right? Unfortunately, Knock at the Cabin is not quite able
to maintain neither its early suspense or our intellectual interest.
Shyamalan once became known for his clever turning points and
revelations. And although these aren't necessarily the make or break
for his films, the lack of such may sometimes lead him to
overnarration and simplifcations which can give his films a certain
aura of unsophistication.