© Universal Pictures International Germany GmbH

Knock at the Cabin
U.S.A./China 2023

Opening 9 Feb 2023

Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Writing credits: M. Night Shyamalan, Steve Desmond, Michael Sherman, Paul Tremblay
Principal actors: Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, Rupert Grint, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Ben Aldridge

Eric (Ben Aldridge) and Andrew (Jonathan Groff) are a gay couple with a small adopted Asian daughter, Wen (Kristen Cui). They are on vacation in a cottage in the woods, happily enjoying the solitude. Suddenly, 10 minutes into the film there is a knock and four strangers demand entrance, which they achieve by breaking down the door. These newcomers are Leonard (Dave Bautista), Redmond (Rupert Grint), Sabrina (Nikki Amuka-Bird) and Adriana (Abby Quinn). They have been forced to leave their own environments to travel to the cabin and deliver a message to Eric and Andrew. They must decide which of the three cabin inhabitants must die, in order to prevent an apocalypse, which threatens to destroy the world. Not an easy responsibility to fulfill. Their television screen shows worldwide hazards: volcanos, multiple plane crashes, an earthquake, high waves on the beach, all occurring parallel to personal tragedies in the cabin.

Knock at the Cabin is based on the 1918 book The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay. It is being presented as a “thriller/horror” movie and the tense music supports this feeling, although there are backflashes with joyful scenes of young Eric and Andrew, which serve as information re: their lives and relationship. This film is typical of our trend toward diversity, in that it includes homosexuality, as well as Caucasian, Asian, and Black actors. Several decades ago, it would have been all “White” starring a male/female couple. It was filmed in Burlington, New Jersey, USA, and could also be shown on stage with its seven actors and single setting – perhaps an opportunity in the future. The actors are excellent AND there is a grasshopper. Our last impression is a black screen and seven knocks. Who’s coming next? (Becky Tan)

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