Knock At The Cabin's Author Got Candid About How M. Night Shyamalan Changed The Ending

Ben Aldridge, Kristen Cui, and Jonathan Groff look back with shock in Knock at the Cabin.
(Image credit: Universal)

Warning: SPOILERS for the endings to Knock at the Cabin and The Cabin at the End of the World are in play. If you’re trying to avoid such details, you’ve been warned. 

As the first entry of the 2023 new movie releases to top the box office, director M. Night Shyamalan’s Knock at the Cabin has made a name for itself. Part of that impression on audiences comes from the movie’s shocking ending, which wildly differs from the source novel The Cabin at the End of the World. Now author Paul Tremblay has weighed in on those changes thanks to a social media interaction that explored the subject a little deeper.

Dave Bautista in Knock at the Cabin

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Author Paul Tremblay’s Feelings On Knock At The Cabin’s Ending

Through an exchange with a fan on Twitter, Tremblay was mum on the details that were changed, but acknowledged that Knock at the Cabin only ever ended one way. When asked if any alternates were filmed, Paul Tremblay provided the following details, along with his preferred ending:

At the end of Knock at the Cabin, Wen (Kristen Cui) and Eric (Ben Aldridge) are the only survivors of the confrontation that sees them encounter Leonard (Dave Bautista) and his compatriots. With the willing sacrifice of Andrew (Jonathan Groff), the world is allowed to continue existing, leaving Andrew and Wen grieving. That’s not how things happen in Paul Tremblay’s novel though, as The Cabin at the End of the World makes some pretty big changes to that harrowing finale.

Kristen Cui in Knock At The Cabin

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

How Knock At The Cabin’s Finale Differs From The Novel

The massive difference between Knock at the Cabin’s ending and that of Paul Tremblay’s novel is that Wen is the family member that dies. It’s merely an accident too, which is a loophole that means the apocalypse shown in the trailers is still on. Leaving parents Eric and Andrew distraught, they choose not to sacrifice either of themselves, presumably allowing the world to end.

The Cabin at the End of the World also differs in terms of the final survivor from the team of would-be horsemen of the apocalypse. In the book, Sabrina (Nikki Amuka-Bird) is actually the final herald who takes their own life with a dire warning to make a choice soon after her passing. However, the M. Night Shyamalan-directed version of events sees Leonard acting as the final checkpoint.

You can see where Paul Tremblay would disagree with the changes that helped make Shyamalan’s fourth #1 opening in a row.This opinion is also rather insightful when considering how Tremblay previously shaded the film and the decision to distance the marketing campaign from The Cabin at the End of the World. Though Tremblay has reacted favorably to the finished product, his reaction to the ending is in line with what anyone would expect from an author critiquing an adaptation. 

Of course, his opinion isn’t the only one that matters. If you enjoyed The Cabin at the End of the World and want to see the full picture of how Knock at the Cabin differs as a film, you can head to a theater near you and see it for yourself. Though if you’re an M. Night Shyamalan fan who's on the fence about his latest thriller, know this: the man himself says that Signs is the closest cinematic cousin it has. So fans who enjoy that picture should be all set. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.