Knock At The Cabin Reviews Are Here, See What Critics Are Saying About M. Night Shyamalan's New Thriller

Horror audiences were treated to some truly disturbing offerings in 2022, and hopefully that trend will be continued this year, as M. Night Shyamalan’s latest project Knock at the Cabin is set to hit theaters February 3. Based on the novel The Cabin at the End of the World by acclaimed horror author Paul Tremblay, the film stars a great cast that includes Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff and Ben Aldridge. First responses to Knock at the Cabin were overall positive, with some saying this is M. Night Shyamalan’s best movie in years. Now the reviews are in to tell us more about the thriller.

Knock At The Cabin

Dave Bautista in Knock at the Cabin

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Release Date: February 3, 2023
Directed By:
 M. Night Shyamalan
Written By: Steve Desmond & Michael Sherman and M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge, Dave Bautista, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Abby Quinn, Kristen Cui, and Rupert Grint

Jonathan Groff and Ben Aldridge play Eric and Andrew, parents who are vacationing at a remote cabin in the Pennsylvania woods with their daughter Wen (Kristen Cui) when strangers invade their getaway with the alarming announcement that one of them must be sacrificed to avoid the apocalypse. Let’s see what critics have to say about the movie, starting with CinemaBlend’s review of Knock at the Cabin. Eric Eisenberg rates the film 2 stars out of 5, praising the performances — particularly Dave Bautista’s turn as the primary antagonist — but he says an assumed lack of imagination in its audience prevents it from getting near a satisfying conclusion. He continues: 

There is a good amount to appreciate in Knock At The Cabin, but it’s really just enough for the film to hit the bar of ‘disappointing’ instead of ‘bad.’ One always goes into the latest M. Night Shyamalan film hoping that it will be his next The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, or Split, but this is more on the level of Glass and Old.

Jonathan Sim of rates the film a “Poor” 4 out of 10, noting that while there are some good performances and humorous dialogue, the loosely written screenplay and tonal inconsistencies contribute to the story not reaching its full potential. More from the review:  

While Knock at the Cabin may not be as bafflingly awful as films like The Last Airbender and Old, it remains a weak, predictable thriller that never takes advantage of its premise. Shyamalan’s style is something to behold, and it can be seen in nearly all of his work. He creates bold, thrilling stories with scary elements grounded in human drama. Sometimes, he pulls it off fantastically. With this one, not so much.

Julian Roman of MovieWeb says the twisted premise of Knock at the Cabin doesn’t pay off, and the film stumbles as the predictable narrative plays out. The critic says: 

Willing suspension of disbelief can only go so far. The biblical end of days makes more sense than some of the action in this film. Several scenes strain credulity to the breaking point. Shyamalan uncharacteristically drops zero bombshells. Additional elements were needed to stoke intrigue.

The reviews aren’t all bad, however, with Uproxx’s Mike Ryan saying this is one of M. Night Shyamalan’s best. The critic also praises Dave Bautista’s performance, saying he doesn’t know if the movie works as well without him. The review continues: 

M. Night Shyamalan can be streaky with his movies, but he’s always going for something, even though it doesn’t always work. But I do appreciate that even when it doesn’t work, he’s still out there doing it. But when he hits one right, man he sure hits. And here he really is at his best. He lets the story breathe and he really does let all these actors drive what’s happening instead of putting something conflated in here to surprise us just for the sake of surprising us.

Chris Evangelista of SlashFilm also thinks Knock at the Cabin is a return to form for M. Night Shyamalan, rating it 7 out of 10. While the critic wishes the script dived deeper into some of the issues it glosses over, this intense and disturbing movie proves he’s still one heck of a filmmaker. He says: 

Tension is the name of the game, and Shyamalan knows exactly how to build it. It rises and builds to the point of breaking. This might be the filmmaker's most intense film to date, and while there are occasional bursts of genuine humor, Knock at the Cabin is more concerned with leaving you perturbed and unsettled by what you're witnessing. On that front, Knock at the Cabin is a success, even if its script can't quite match the visual intensity. Whatever is lacking here is balanced by Shyamalan's filmmaking. Say what you will about the director, but he's still got it.

If you are a fan of M. Night Shyamalan’s movies, or if you want to see how this apocalyptic thriller plays out, you’ll be able to do so starting Friday, February 3, when Knock at the Cabin makes its premiere in theaters. In the meantime, check out some of the best horror movies of all time, and use our 2023 Movie Release Schedule to start planning your next trip to the theater. 

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.