'Knock at the Cabin' offers thrills, chills thanks to filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan

George Pennacchio Image
Thursday, February 2, 2023
Shyamalan goes for philosophical, supernatural Knock at the Cabin'
'The communal experience for movie theaters is a sacred one.' Director M. Night Shyamalan brings twists, turns, thrills and chills to 'Knock at the Cabin,' a film he thinks is more satisfying when seen with a group, in a theater.

HOLLYWOOD -- Filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan has made more than 20 films... and in true "Night" fashion, he's hoping to scare the heck out of us once again with "Knock at the Cabin." The thriller shows us a family trying to enjoy a weekend getaway. But then they find out the world is literally about to end.

"Knock at the Cabin," is adapted from the best-selling novel "The Cabin at the End of the World." We meet a young family, with Ben Aldridge and Jonathan Groff playing Dads to adorable young daughter "Wen." She meets a stranger in the woods, played by Dave Bautista... and he is then joined by Rupert Grint, Nikki Amuka-Bird and Abby Quinn. They tell the shocked family it must choose to sacrifice someone... or the world will end.

"The idea of doing kind of a philosophical, supernatural jury movie was like, I love that feeling of it," said Shyamalan. "The kind of supernatural 'Sophie's Choice' of it all it was incredibly emotional, this concept of asking something you would never ask of yourself, and having to make that decision."

Shyamalan likes to cast against type in his films. And for this one, that meant hiring former wrestler and Marvel action hero Bautista as a quiet but determined teacher.

"I love getting these action guys, and then not letting them do any action. I love it," said Shyamalan. "It feels exciting to me to tap different colors for the audience. If you're coming, and you're seeing something you've never seen before, that's worth getting out of your house, and sharing with a group of strangers."

Shyamalan is adamant that movies should be seen in theaters. "The communal experience for movie theaters is a sacred one, and not in a kind of like kumbaya way, but in a real way. Being able to share an emotional experience together, where that experience is defined by the hundreds of strangers that you're with on that particular day is so precious and so important to us. We are social creatures. We need those moments together. And I think we're better when we're experiencing them together."

"Knock at the Cabin" is rated R and is in theaters Friday, February 3.