Knock At The Cabin: 6 Things I Can't Stop Thinking About
Time to queue up some KC & The Sunshine Band and daydream about Daddy Eric.
SPOILERS ahead for Knock at the Cabin! Read on with caution if you haven't seen the M. Night Shyamalan movie.
M. Night Shyamalan’s recently released horror flick Knock at the Cabin offers viewers a simple premise: What if the apocalypse was real? Would you believe it? And would you accept the impossible task of saving humanity at the expense of sacrificing your own happiness?
The decision isn’t that simple for Eric and Andrew, the protagonists of the film, but it’s one they must make. I kept waiting for the signature M. Night Shyamalan plot twist that would change everything, but as it turns out the big twist in Knock at the Cabin is that there really isn’t a twist at all.
I haven’t been able to get certain aspects of this movie out of my head since I saw it. Here are six things from Knock at the Cabin that I’m still thinking about.
Leonard Was Probably A Really Good Teacher!
No time to waste in this movie: we’re immediately introduced to Wen, a young girl catching grasshoppers, who’s approached by Leonard (MCU actor Dave Bautista). Despite having the physique of a former WWE star, Leonard is gentle and kind—but informs Wen that he and his friends have come because Wen’s parents must make a horrible decision.
We’re soon introduced to Adriane, a single mother; Redmond, an angry man with a complicated past (played by Rupert Grint); and Sabrina, a registered nurse. The four have come because of bone-chilling visions they’ve had that seem to depict the apocalypse. Despite their menacing message and slightly more menacing weapons, the group doesn’t seem out for blood—least of all Leonard, who shares he’s an elementary school teacher. You can’t help but imagine how good of a teacher he must be as he explains the predicament to Wen and her parents.
Would I Be More Like Andrew Or Eric In That Situation?
Understandably, Eric (Hamilton star Jonathan Groff) and Andrew (Ben Aldridge) are reluctant to accept the premise that they must sacrifice one member of their family in order to prevent the end of times.
Andrew and Eric go through a lot of other explanations (shared psychosis, a religious cult, etc.) before their perceptions of reality begin to shatter—but the visitors have pretty convincing evidence in their favor, including live television broadcasts of bizarre tragedies occurring en masse across the globe and some personal sacrifices of the deadly variety.
I can’t help but wonder if I would react like Daddy Eric or Daddy Andrew in this situation. Would I be staunchly opposed, protective to a fault like Andrew? Or would I start to feel for the humanity of the visitors pleading in front of me, like Eric? I’m pretty gullible, so I feel like I could get on board with the whole apocalypse thing—but murdering your spouse or baby is pretty hard to agree to.
Flashbacks to moments like spending time with Andrew’s homophobic parents or pretending to be brothers in law when meeting Wen at an orphanage remind us that this is a family that has gone through the unimaginable to be together.
But the flashbacks also provide needed context for Eric and Andrew’s world views. Eric is a hothead who’s not going to negotiate with people he thinks are out to get him—certainly not with people who might be in a homophobic religious cult. Eric, on the other hand, is more empathetic. He’s more mellow and more even-keeled. He’s also more understanding of others, which is why Eric’s certainty begins to waver sooner than Andrew’s. He can sense that Leonard, Sabrina, Adriane and Redmond are telling the truth.
M. Night Shyamalan’s Painfully Long Cameo
M. Night Shyamalan is no stranger to the “hidden” cameo role. He loves to show up in bit roles in his movies for a little meta easter egg. In Old, he played the resort employee who drove people to the beach. In Knock at the Cabin, he appeared as an actor in an infomercial.
Did you catch it? Of course you did, it went on for way too goddamn long. I don’t like when my movies talk to me like I’m stupid. I saw you in there, M. Night. I saw you after 2 seconds. You didn’t need to drag it out for so long.
The Similarities To Cabin In The Woods
Towards the end of the movie I started to feel like Knock at the Cabin pulled some inspiration from another personal favorite horror movie of mine: The Cabin In The Woods. And before you protest, my reason is NOT just because both films take place in a cabin in the woods.
Both films make you (and the characters) question your reality—is the threat right in front of me? Or is the threat actually so big I can’t comprehend it?
Both films also answer an existential question we don’t have the answer to. How will the world end? And is there a way to stop it from ending?
The “Happy” Ending
Full disclosure: I am a Jonathan Groff stan. He’s really the only reason I wanted to see this movie in the first place. But I was pleasantly surprised to find out that his character, Daddy Eric, was actually the heart of the entire movie. After portraying the full range of human emotions in his acting (including being concussed), Jonathan Groff made me cry in a public theater when Daddy Eric saved the day.
My mind was racing trying to figure out how the movie would end pretty much until the last moments—but the somewhat “happy” ending was actually pretty satisfying. Eric’s sacrifice really did save the world (or at least that’s what me, Wen and Andrew will believe). Despite the fact that I desperately wanted Daddy Eric to survive until the end, I now want to see Jonathan Groff in approximately 100 new horror movies.
Phew. This movie definitely took me on a rollercoaster of emotions, but it was definitely worth the ride. If you need me, I’ll be listening to Boogie Shoes on repeat.
Still thinking about Knock at the Cabin? Check out our list of movies and shows to watch if you loved the cast.
Horror fans can stay up to date on all the new scary movies coming out in 2023 with our upcoming horror movie guide.
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She/her. Lover of female-led comedies, Saturday Night Live, and THAT scene in Fleabag. Will probably get up halfway through the movie to add more butter to the popcorn.