Review of: “Knock at the Cabin"
Heavy Spoilers Ahead. Read with Care…
Knock at the Cabin (2023)
Writers: Paul Tremblay (Novel), M. Night Shyamalan, Steve Desmond and Michael Sherman (Screenplay)
Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge
IMDB Rating: 6.2/10 Stars
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 64%
“Knock at the Cabin” (2023) which confused me with “The Cabin in the Woods” (2011) is the first M. Night Shyamalan movie I have seen with No twist. This movie is played straight the entire time and that made this very hard to swallow. I have never done well with movies, plots that revolve around a binary decision. It is either this or that, anything else is irrelevant. It was sort of weird, the movie watching experience I mean. I did take issue with the cast. I have never been a very big Dave Bautista fan as a leading man. He is good to play smaller roles but to be the center point in any role. It doesn’t work for me. Basically the man cannot really act well. Like I said, he can do well with very small and his character being limited but to give him too much dialog, it really is film-cringe. I don’t know, bad call in my opinion. The movie itself flowed fine. When I sat and watched it I was getting those: “It looks like a thriller, feels like one, tone feels right,” vibes. My big issues are with the plot, the resolution. The whole 3rd act. I mean this will totally get the social media, "how this movie should have really played out," treatment.
If this happened in a real reality, right now, and not a pseudo-reality. We'd all be doomed. If I had my chance at it. Out in the woods, yeah, the gun would have been in a much better position. If I got a chance to defend myself from these four horsemen at any point in the story I wouldn't even hear them out. If I got my hands on that gun. I would have systematically murdered them all without even getting huffy about it. My point of view is; I am already dying/dead from my own medical/mental health combinations. Those four people canceled their lives the second they forced themselves into the home from my perspective. As far as the whole of humanity goes; I do not know if I would sacrifice what is and has been defined as mine since I was first able to understand concepts of any make or model. If I am chosen. God/gods, choose the wrong person and wrong family. If a God, or gods demanded I make a sacrifice, boi.... aren't they gonna be disappointed lol. I have sacrificed enough for three lifetimes. No meal ticket here. No FKs given either and I am not sorry about that. If there was a lesson to be learned I fail to see what it is.
I always pull from the Matrix: ReLoaded, at the end of the film where Neo realizes he is NOT the One but merely just “a-One,” the sixth One. Neo is The Sixth One to appear in the sixth Matrix iteration in which the trilogy takes place. In each iteration, The One is guided by the Oracle and then the Keymaker to a holding room of sorts where The One gains an audience with the Architect. That for all Neo’s abilities he is as powerless as all the humans trapped inside the Matrix. All choices up to this point have been weighed, measured, calculated and manipulated to get Neo to reset the Matrix for the Machines. That the free will Neo is striving for is not real. A binary information system displayed on a 2D surface appears as 2 points. There is Left and there is Right. If you want to see the Puppet Master’s fingers on the strings one has to see this on a 3D surface. Right now, the way society sees this as just 2 points on a sheet of flat paper. I never look at decision making that simply. I always assume both choices have something else at play. Call it, a lifetime of being on the wrong side of this binary information system for most of your life…
Now my head is in this place that if one or a group attempts to force this binary logic-choice upon me. If I have no other recourse other than to choose red choice or blue choice, left choice or right choice and I do not feel like either are what I stand for, or will accept, then I WILL choose my own way. I will look at Morpheus, I take both pills, give Morpheus the finger and jump out the goddamn window. Whatever happens, happens. My only recourse is to never give them what they want or even need. That my last ditch of independence before it is taken from me is to not comply… I will not submit… One or the group cannot force a win in their favor against someone like that, but people continue to play by the rules of a binary information system, even in fiction, especially in fiction. We take these huge liberties with our characters we write for fiction but less and less now I see the level of practical and realistic growth in their decision making processes. I know we are talking about fiction here, but this fiction in this specific story is related to our current reality. Yet, it doesn’t obey any of those rules. I feel pretty strongly about the current logical approach we take with the Left/Right binary information system. I do not believe in it more than there being a lack of evidence to support the belief in Jesus Christ. I believe in the concept Jesus more than I do the binary information systems and I absolutely DO NOT believe in Jesus Christ as a religious savor, in any capacity. I hold that concept very high on my own personal knowledge system that binary is bullshit. I guess I am crazy or a Sociopath lol. In that respect I had a very hard time seeing the plausibility of these very human situations and choices in “Knock at the Cabin.”
Other than that, it wasn't bad. I actually liked the gay couple aspect and it not coming off overly WOKE. Oh, it’s in there, of course it is, but at least it wasn’t shoved down our throat and it was important to the story. This at all didn’t feel forced like it always tends to feel. Like, it’s a thing but not a thing. I don’t know if that was dark humor or not. If I look at this movie as totally dark humor from beginning to end. Then I think it’s sort of a middle finger to our current world culture view, then this movie is brilliant. If it is supposed to be taken seriously, the choices and decisions do not make much sense to me in that scenario. If the whole movie is like, “hey we got these four people/horsemen, or whatever, that are gonna try and convince a family to sacrifice a family member what possibly could go wrong?” You get a foreign kid with a physical deformity that no one wanted so they gave it to Americans, not even knowing they were a gay couple. You have a gay couple where one side the parents do not understand and see their son as a failure/disappointment and the other guy is a domestic violence victim because of his sexual preference of being a gay man in modern times. If those are your odds, then that is the joke. That is the humor. I honestly could not tell whether or not this movie was played straight or is really a satire on our world culture. If it is a satire then it is brilliant, if it is straight then this movie was poorly executed.
That in and of itself is funny to me. So yeah… It wasn’t terrible but nothing special. If you are bored, it is worth a watch but there is nothing must see here. It is just a solid thriller that tries to act like reality but really isn’t real nor does it even feel real. This is what you get when you try to get people to care about your characters so they try to put themselves into the decision making process. Me… I would have lost my mind and after a few hours. I would stop cooperating in any capacity. I’d have no problem at all watching each of them kill themselves. If anything, I’d lose my patience with how slow they are about it all. The problem I have with this is the great human experiment from my perspective is a huge mistake. Do not give me that power… I won’t make the choice that is expected of me by the masses…
One of the last things that was eating at me about this movie is every time the family said no to a sacrifice one of the four horsemen were killed and then the doomsday event happened. At no point were we told or shown what would happen if one or all of the four horsemen did not contribute to their own death. What if they said, hell no. I am not doing this. The movie suggests that these four people came together via the internet due to their strong visions. That, if they didn’t do this the visions would get stronger. Ok, fine… They get stronger… You’re telling me these four people felt so compelled to meet and attempt to force these people to choose? And on top of all that, they are a Gay couple. So they do make note that they are being targeted because they are Gay. It comes up, it is quickly discussed and disregarded. That is when this movie starts to break apart for me. Plus one of the four are the person that previously attacked one of the couple some years ago that set the decision making process for him to purchase a gun to begin with. It is because of all this that I feel he would have had the gun on him or at least in the cabin, somewhere where he could quickly get to it before they all broke into the cabin. I just think it would be highly unlikely the gun would be in the safe in the vehicle.
The other part of this is these four horsemen have collectively decided to corner, bully and force this part of this all onto this family. If I were one of them. If I were forced to either force someone else to contribute over, them, the group saying, this isn’t right. I do not care how bad these visions get. That I won’t do this. Regardless if this is real or not. If this is the message of the movie then humanity is absolutely doomed. The reality is all four of these people would have committed suicide before they planned to hunt down this family and force them to compile. And if they were able to plan something out what kind of shape would they be in mentally/emotionally? Spending months not sleeping, slowly thinking you are crazy. Again, the real reality of the situation. If all four showed up and tried this, they all should have been shot dead before they actually got into the cabin, but that isn’t how fiction goes. Sort of why this movie really needed that M. Night-Twist and it didn’t get it. That is why I think this might just be that dark humor here but who knows. M. Night movies have been so miss pretty much since “The Village” and that was 2004. Sure, he has a decent one come and go. “Split” from 2016 was decent enough but it is rare to find anything in his catalog after 2004 that comes as highly recommended. He is capable, but we haven’t seen much that gives us those “SIGNS” vibes…