Not Your Average Adaptation: Our Review of ‘Knock At The Cabin’

Posted in Movies by - February 03, 2023
Not Your Average Adaptation: Our Review of ‘Knock At The Cabin’

Adapting a popular novel can be difficult. On one hand, the filmmakers want to make something their own, and by following the novel beat by beat it’s almost impossible to do. On the other hand, a popular novel has a built in audience. And if the source material is changed too much it can cause them to avoid seeing it in the first place. This means filmmakers have to walk a tightrope in order to make their film, but even then it’s impossible to please everyone. On top of that characters will need to be changed, cuts will need to be made. And sometimes the final product doesn’t resemble the source material. That’s the case with M. Night Shyamalan’s latest film, Knock at the Cabin.

Knock at the Cabin is based on the popular novel The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay. It’s the story of a family vacationing in the middle of nowhere. Armed strangers approach them and and take them hostage. These strangers give the family a difficult choice, choose to kill of their own, or the world will end. At first it seems like the strangers are completely out of their mind, but as odd occurrences start to happen around the world the family start to wonder if there might just be something behind their story.

The movie may disappoint some fans of the novel because it changes the entire final act. While the rest of the movie is pretty accurate to the novel. But tthe ending is so different that it changes the entire feel of the story. The question that we need to ask, however, is this; just because the movie is different than the book, does that mean the movie is bad? In this case, it does not. We just need to view it as a different entity. While the main storyline is a little odd, if you can get past that and suspend your disbelief you should end up enjoying it.

The acting is surprisingly good, with ex-WWE superstar Dave Bautista leading the way. The villains really do a great job showcasing their conflicted emotions, as even they doubt their mission. Playing villains that might be liked in any other circumstance is not an easy role for anyone to play. The film is brutal at times. But thankfully, Shyamalan decided to stay away from showing the gory stuff and let the audience’s imagination take charge instead. He really should have done that for the ending as well though, because instead of letting the audience make up their own mind as to what was going on, he decides to hand hold them through it and over explain everything. Too many horror films do that these days, and by treating the audience like idiots, it waters down the film. Note to producers, it’s scarier not knowing the answers.

While Knock at the Cabin isn’t the best of Shyamalan’s films, it’s far from his worst. It’s an interesting film that raises a lot of interesting questions. But in the end it’s not as scary as it should have been.

  • Release Date: 2/2/2023
This post was written by
While Roderick has only been writing movie reviews for a relatively short time, he's been a fan of film for as long as he can remember. It's a love affair that started when he saw Star Wars at a drive-in theatre in Kitchener when he was four years old. In the past decade he's fulfilled his dream of interviewing celebrities, attending red carpets events at festivals such as TIFF and writing reviews for outlets such as He's always on the hunt for the next big thing to hit the screen.
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