A couple (Jonathan Groff and Ben Aldridge) on vacation at a remote couple with their daughter (Kristen Cui) are faced with an impossible choice by a mysterious stranger (Dave Bautista) and his followers (Rupert Grint, Abby Quinn, Nikki Amuka-Bird).REVIEW:
Consider this. Imagine you’re on vacation with family and Dave Bautista is carrying a collection of brutal weapons that he made himself. He tells you that if you want to stop the end, someone in your family must die. Suicide is not an option, making it even more difficult. Someone must be killed. And now imagine Bautista, as crazy as he sounds, might be telling the truth – or at least has some compelling evidence that he’s not nuts.That’s the solid premise behind M. Night Shyamalan’s Knock at the Cabin, which is his most entertaining film since Split. Shyamalan has created a compelling tale with a great premise (the film is a loose adaptation of the novel The Cabin At the End of the World10 by Paul G. Tremblay). He also cast some outstanding performances. Bautista is, despite being the “heavy”, his best performance is when he plays against the grain. His character, Leonard is a reluctant antagonist to Eric (Groff), and Andrew (Aldridge). With some prompting, they assume that Leonard’s group, which is a death-cult targeting gay men, is true, despite Leonard and the rest swearing otherwise. Bautista plays his role with such empathy and reluctance makes him an effective actor. Bautista is not at his best as a bruiser, but rather as a sweet-natured character. Think of how memorable he was in Blade Runner 2049 and Guardians of the Galaxy, and compare that to his thin henchman part in SPECTRE
. Bautista is supported by his crew, who all get grace notes, making them more than just lunatics. The film’s heart is in the family being threatened. Groff and Aldridge are believable as a married couple who not only love each other but also put their daughter’s safety first. The fact that they are gay is a big deal. This is used to make them distrust human nature. Andrew, the more impulsive and angry of the two, is quick to defend himself with violence if necessary. Groff, on the other hand, is the gentler Eric. Groff, on the other hand, is the more gentle Eric. He, unlike the cynical Andrew begins to question whether their attackers are telling them the truth.
Kristen Cui plays Wen. Her chemistry is perfect. It’s one the best child performances I have seen in a while, but let’s not forget that Shyamalan, as he proved in The Sixth Sense10, knows how direct children. Shyamalan’s mastery is evident here. He uses flashbacks and other tools to show the premise beyond the cabin. The MPAA gave the film an R rating in their “infinite wisdom” (insert sarcasm). Even though there is very little blood on the screen, all violence is implied and not shown. This movie shouldn’t have been given such a restrictive rating. It’s yet another sign that the group needs to be overhauled. Is the movie rated R because it features a gay couple or? Gore-hounds who expected a gruesome wall-to-wall horror movie will be disappointed by its tameness. It has almost nothing to be negative about it. It also has a good moral core. It is anchored by a strong love story, and a belief in humanity. It’s not really scary, but it’s a terrific watch nonetheless.