Watching a new M. Night Shyamalan film is a thrill ride of anticipation and uncertainty. Will it be a masterpiece of suspense or a cheesy mess? With Shyamalan, you never know. “Old” may have been a hot mess, but it was still fun to watch.
“Knock at the Cabin,” Shyamalan’s latest offering, is less campy and more intense. The movie follows a family of three on vacation at a remote cabin, but their peaceful getaway is interrupted when they are taken captive by four menacing strangers. The abductors demand that the family make a horrifying sacrifice to prevent the end of the world. It starts strong, with a creepy opening scene that brings back memories of “Doctor Sleep.” Dave Bautista shines as the sinister stranger, Leonard, who along with his three bizarre accomplices, terrorize a family in their vacation home. Whether these intruders are telling the truth or just psychopaths will keep you on the edge of your seat. But be warned, the answer may be a disappointment.
The film touches on a few topical issues, but it fails to incorporate them in a meaningful way. The story is plagued by heavy-handed writing, a lack of clues, and unsatisfying twists. The acting, on the other hand, is a bright spot, especially the performances by Jonathan Groff and Ben Aldridge, who bring a touch of realism to the film. Dave Bautista also proves his versatility, playing an unnerving villain that’s scarier than outright terrifying.
Overall, “Knock at the Cabin” is a mixed bag of thrills and disappointments. While it’s not Shyamalan’s best work, it still has redeeming qualities. As a horror movie fan, I’m not ready to give up on the visionary director, but I’ll take a trip down memory lane and revisit “The Sixth Sense” instead.
RATING: 2.0 out of 5.0
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