Two years later Olddirector M. Night Shyamalan returns to theaters with the enigmatic Knock at the Cabin. A film promising a new high concept original and one of those final twists that made the filmmaker famous and career with Sixth Sense, signs et Split.
This new psychological thriller mixes supernatural, family and moral conflict. Was it still necessary that M. Night Shyamalan manage to master his recipe… Here is our review of the film, guaranteed without spoiler. Knock at the Cabin hits theaters February 1.
The plot of the film
While spending their vacation in an isolated chalet in the middle of nature, a young girl and her parents are taken hostage by four armed strangers who demand an impossible choice from them in order to avoid the imminence of the apocalypse. While they have practically no means of communication with the rest of the world, they will have to make and assume their decision alone.
Our review of Knock at the Cabin
After a period of wandering, which saw him commit the heinous Phenomena, The last air Master et After Earth, M. Night Shyamalan has again become in recent years a filmmaker that we await with impatience. His last more modest productions, such as Split and the series Servanthad replaced him as an effective and enthusiastic doer. Knock at the Cabin was the chance to confirm this great momentum.
And we can say that Night Shyamalan fulfills his contract… for part of the film at least. The director thus installs his terrifying idea of a potential apocalypse and maintains the suspense wonderfully thanks to a clever and elegant staging. As in most of the director’s productions, Knock at the Cabin builds its tension on a supposedly unrelenting final reveal.
Problem: this adaptation of The cabin at the end of the world (Paul G. Tremblay, 2018) appears far too wise compared to the original book, which offered a darker and more complex story. Admittedly, Shyamalan reappropriates the story with its own themes (family, faith, etc.) and makes a malicious echo of our contemporary society. But this exercise quickly shows its limits – the fault of a lazy and too binary writing – and ends up settling in a repetitive structure… and boring.
Despite some flashbacks, Knock at the Cabin is then incapable of surprising or effectively reinventing its stakes. Like the hostage couple in the film, the viewer finds himself obliged to undergo a program announced in advance, which offers no real surprise. The beautiful tension then fades to give way to polite indifference.
The excellent performances of the actors – Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff and Rupert Grint in the lead – maintain the interest for a time, but do not work miracles. Knock at the Cabin has the stretched-out short film syndrome, with the flaws that brings. Damage.
Finally, the promise of Knock at the Cabin is stronger than the film itself, which turns out to be too hollow (both from a narrative and thematic point of view) to fully convince. If the latest M. Night Shyamalan remains an entertaining thriller that will satisfy the viewer on a rainy Sunday evening, it is far from what we could expect from the director of Sixth Sense et Split. A minor opus for the filmmaker, which we hope will be more inspired and daring next time.
Knock at the Cabin is released in French theaters on February 1.
- Watch the movie trailer:
Where to watch other M. Night Shyamalan movies online?
If you are a fan of the American director, arm yourself with patience (and money) since his films are disseminated on different streaming platforms. You can find Phenomena, Unbreakable, The village, signs et Glass on Disney+, when Split, The Visit et The last air Master are they on Netflix. Finally, his series The Servant is available on Apple TV+.
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