KNOCK AT THE CABIN – Rated R – 1 hr. 40 mins

Written & Directed by:  M. Night Shyamalan

Written by:  Steve Desmond & Michael Sherman

Starring:  David Bautista, Kristen Cui, Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Rupert Grint, & Abby Quinn

Brought to us by the man who has rocked the psychological thriller world with films such as THE SIXTH SENSE and SIGNS…comes another film that forces you to think beyond the realities of the world we know, as we meet the adorable youngster Wen (Kristen Cui), who is on holiday with her father’s Eric (Jonathan Groff) and Andrew (Ben Aldridge), making the most of their cabin getaway vacation, deep in the woods…

When Wen encounters a rather peculiar man by the name of Leonard (Dave Bautista), she senses something strange within her encounter, and decides to make her way back to the cabin, and the safety of her parents. 

But Leonard isn’t the only one venturing in the woods to find this family, as it seems that Sabrina (Nikki Amuka-Bird), Redmond (Rupert Grint) and Adriane (Abby Quinn) have been seeing visions for weeks now, leading them to this place, and this family, as they hold the only resolution that will save our world from total annihilation…

And the choice that Eric, Andrew, and Wen must make is one that no family would ever want to fathom…

Now, as time continues to tick away, and we watch millions of people perish all over the world, it’s up these intruders, and this family that they have chosen, to stop this catastrophic apocalypse from happening, before it’s too late…

(from left) Sabrina (Nikki Amuka-Bird), Adriane (Abby Quinn), Redmond (Rupert Grint) and Leonard (Dave Bautista) in Knock at the Cabin, directed by M. Night Shyamalan.
(from left) Wen (Kristen Cui), Leonard (Dave Bautista) and Adriane (Abby Quinn) in Knock at the Cabin, directed by M. Night Shyamalan.
(from left) Andrew (Ben Aldridge), Wen (Kristen Cui), Eric (Jonathan Groff) and Leonard (Dave Bautista) in Knock at the Cabin, directed by M. Night Shyamalan.

I give KNOCK AT THE CABIN a rating of 3 out of 5 Stars:  I have loved M. Night Shyamalan’s films forever, still catching THE SIXTH SENSE & SIGNS any time I can.  And even though I haven’t been as enamored by a few of his latest creations, like THE VILLAGE or OLD…his psychological maneuvers throughout his films, seem to always keep me intrigued.  And the concept of this latest creation – KNOCK AT THE CABIN – started off with as much intrigue as usual, giving way to the guessing game of what type of creeper David Bautista’s more dramatic role was going to encompass, as he is totally out of his usual realm of awesome dude, and funny guy, with this role.  But, as the time starts ticking away, and the entire concept of this film is totally revealed, I found myself becoming less and less intrigued as the story went along.   I mean, the concept of these individuals seeking out this family to save our world is very noble, but the additional concept of expecting a family to choose who will perish from their family of three, to stop this from happening, became too far-fetched to draw me in.  Sadly too, I wasn’t totally blown away by any of the adult performances this time around, including Bautista’s attempt to shed his GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY persona as Drax, by taking on this role.  He was convincing, don’t get me wrong, but the creeper vibe at the beginning of this film as he plays opposite the adorable Kristen Cui, was unsettling for me from the start.  Jonathan Groff and Ben Aldridge’s performances we solid, but not really mind blowing either.   I was really hoping to see more from Rupert Grint (Ron, from the Harry Potter series) this time around too, as it was wonderful to see him back on the big screen, but he pretty much ends up being nothing more than a cameo in this film, once this tale begins.

The one true stand out performance in KNOCK AT THE CABIN, comes from the youngest of the cast members this time around, as Kristen Cui’s performance as Wen is outstanding! This child masterfully brings most of the emotion that ends up on screen to this film single handedly.  Her exceptional performance, and this storyline totally unfold, makes you realize that without her in this film, this one would play boring at best…

As I write this review, I also realize that I will always hold all of M. Night Shyamalan’s work in comparison to THE SIXTH SENSE, and maybe that’s not fair, as that film was released in 1999 and his career in film making has evolved way beyond that very intriguing, and masterfully crafted film.  But, until you can hold my attention, and have me as blown away at the end as that film did “back in the day”, I am sure that I will be comparing each new creation of M. Night Shyamalan’s, in the exact same way…

3 out of 5 Stars

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