Knock at the Cabin

M. Night Shyamalan is no stranger to controversy, In fact, I would go as far as to say that he thrives on it. The director’s latest film, Knock at the Cabin is definitely going to stir up some controversy.

A happy family consisting of Andrew (Ben Aldridge) and Eric (Jonathan Groff) and their daughter Wen (Kristen Cui) went to a secluded cabin for a getaway. As Wen was outside catching grasshoppers, she was approached by Leonard (Dave Bautista), whose manner about him about him(as well as his own skill at grasshopper catching) put the young girl at ease. However, when she saw Leonard’s three associates arriving with what she defined as weapons, she rushed off to find her two dads to warn them.

Locking themselves inside the cabin did not prevent the four strangers from forcing their way inside and taking the family hostage. However, the group had a bizarre request. They claimed that someone in the family had to be sacrificed and one of the others had to kill them. If a sacrifice was not made, the world would face an apocalypse.

Andrew and Eric, facing an implausible decision, did not believe Leonard and his apocalyptic statements, despite everything that they tried to do to convince the couple. Unbelievable events began to occur, bringing a shock to all.

I do not want to spoil this for anyone, but my biggest problem stems from what would be considered a spoiler, so beware. I’ll say it this way, I found the ending of this movie to completely ruin what I had found to be a taut, exciting thriller. The ending left me cold, disappointed and felt cruel and lacking a sense of purpose outside of just torturing these characters.

The ending spoiled what I had been finding to be an exciting and thought-provoking film, but the resolution was completely unnecessary and unsatisfying in any way.

Until the end of the film, I was finding myself involved in the story. The performances were excellent. Dave Bautista continues to show that he is willing to expand his repertoire as an actor with a multilayered performance. Both Ben Aldridge and Jonathan Groff were top notch as the loving couple dealing with their own past, which we touch upon in flashbacks. Those flashbacks take us nowhere and do not have any purpose except to make us agonize over the end even more.

Oh Ron Weasley, how far you have fallen. I kid of course as Rupert Grint played the role of Redmond, a mean-spirited bigot who becomes one of the foursome led by Leonard. Grint is really solid and I did not recognize him until I saw the credits, speaking even more to the level of his performance.

Kristen Cui does a very solid job as the little girl, providing more than just an afraid child. She is very capable and has to emotionally deal with a lot of the strife that is brought to the cabin.

Though the performances were all excellent, the characters, especially the four attackers, were barely developed and lacked much to support the craziness that they were spouting. Outside of Bautista, who was also not the deepest of characters, these remaining three were fairly disposable and unremarkable. Grint’s character presented a possibility, but any sort of potential from that character was tossed aside almost immediately.

The first hour of the film brought the goods, keeping me on the edge of my seat, but the last forty minutes or so wrecked the positives that I had about the film and I left the theater feeling downtrodden and, almost, cheated.

2.5 stars

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