Knock at the Cabin has been received with a mixed bag of reviews since its release on February 3, of this year (2023). Full of intrigue all the same, we took a trip to the cinema to settle the debate: is Knock at the Cabin one to watch, or yet another horror flop?
Knock at the Cabin Premise
When 8-year-old Wen (played by Kristen Cui) is collecting grasshoppers in the woodlands, she is approached by a kindly giant of a man named Leonard (Dave Bautista, Guardians of the Galaxy) who befriends the child before telling her ‘remember, whatever happens next; I’m your friend’. This ominous message is followed with a request that the girl told her two fathers that they needed to let them into the cabin.
True to their word, they knock at the cabin shortly later, asking that they be let in. Despite the intruders’ mostly friendly demeanor, the family inside understandably have their reservations and refuse entry. As they were warned, the four uninvited guests force entry and tie the two fathers to chairs. It’s at this point that a bizarre and sinister explanation is delivered to them.
Knock at the Cabin is Based Around an Impossible Decision
When the inevitable ruckus that usually follows a home invasion settles down, the message is delivered by Leonard, who seems to be the group leader. The family must choose one person to sacrifice in order to stop the Armageddon and save the 8-billion souls that make up mankind. They are told that if they can’t make the decision before the ‘last stroke of midnight’, they will be forced to walk the earth, lonely and living in guilt for eternity.
Naturally, the two fathers (played by Johnathon Groff and Ben Aldridge) have their doubts and refuse to make this impossible decision. They ask the family to confirm that they’re not making the decision, to be answered by three resounding ‘No’s.
Saddened by this, Leonard asks one of the group members, Redmond (played by Rupert Grint) to step forward. What follows is a ceremonious routine where Redmond drops to his knees before putting a thin cloth sheet over his head and proclaims ‘mankind has been judged’. This is the remainder of the group’s cue to execute the hooded invader.
With the family shook to the core after seeing this man murdered in cold blood before their eyes, Leonard puts the TV on to show that disaster has, in fact, struck. Earthquakes have ripped apart many large cities causing unimaginable numbers of innocent fatalities.
This ceremony is repeated each day, with similar results following and as the family come closer to belief, they have an impossible decision to make.
Knock at the Cabin Leaves Hanging Questions
I obviously won’t divulge too much about the movies ending, but I will say that it feels unfinished. A brilliant twist is theorized between the two fathers but the idea never comes to fruition. It’s merely left as an idea and never further explained, proved or disproved.
The twist in itself would have been excellent, if only we knew if the theory was right or not.
Knock at the Cabin Summary
Knock at the Cabin is, despite its faults, well worth a watch. Bautista deserves a special mention for his performance as Leonard, who is the best character in the movie, by a country mile. Bautista leads and carries the cast throughout the 140-minute runtime.
The story is both compelling and suspenseful but without any final explanation the narrative feels unfinished and without any real direction. We’re unsure whether or not this was purposed but either way, it let the movie down as a whole.