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Like his previous film, Old, M. Night Shyamalan’s Knock at the Cabin is an intriguing, self-contained, efficient thriller – although not nearly as satisfying as it could be. The setup: A family staying at that classic American horror location, the cabin in the woods, is taken hostage by four invaders who’ve had visions of the apocalypse.
To say more would rob the film of some of its surprise, and its ability to keep you questioning what will happen is one of its pleasures – so think twice about listening to the podcast before you see it, because we spoil everything! There’s a lot to like, including its portrayal of a same-sex couple so unremarkable that the characters’ sexuality barely needs addressing (although more affection shown between them would have been welcome) and Dave Bautista’s calm but imposing presence as the leader of the intruders. But it’s so keen to have its sceptical protagonists arguing with what their opponents tell them that it doesn’t explore the dramatic and moral questions it has the opportunity to, and it’s too eager to be tasteful. When even José’s asking for gruesomeness you know you’ve shown too much restraint.
Knock at the Cabin is an interesting and engaging film but rather thin and could do with showing more bravery and style. Worth a look, though.
With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.