We are well into the new year and we already had some amazing surprises in January in terms of movies. Some amazing great and fun movies were released that I loved and was surprised how much I loved them. Although, the curse of January, also had its share of not the best movies. Starting the first week of February, we now have the newest movie from a brilliant filmmaker, M. Night Shayamalan. His newest movie, Knock At The Cabin, has an all-star cast including Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff and Rupert Grint. The story is based on the book written by Paul Tremblay, adapting to life on the big silver screen. Knock At The Cabin is a thrill ride from start to finish and blew my expectations out of the water. Starting the new month off right, this a great thriller that will indeed have you on the edge of your seat. The opening scene to the last scene are both haunting and uneasy. The movie grabs you with tension and never really lets go. This is also by far Dave Bautista's best performance in his career. He carries the majority of movie with his deliverance of bone shaking dialogue. The whole cast brings their best as well, to make the movie as emotional and impactful as it can be. With a story such as this, emotional weight is very important and M. Night sets the tone perfectly.
Coming into the movie, I had high expectations for Knock At The Cabin. I for one, have never read the book, but only heard high praises about it. Paul Tremblay created a story that impacted all of his readers and seeing M. Night adapt such a powerful story got me excited. M. Night has been getting a bad wrap about being a hit or miss director. I hate seeing that, especially because I'm someone who really enjoys his movies. He is also known as the king of movie twists. It was really refreshing to see this movie because I do feel like it strays away from his normal story telling. Knock At The Cabin dives deep into several sub-genres. The movie can be seen as a drama, isolation horror, home invasion movie and even a science fiction movie. He is able to perfectly blend all these genres with a tone that makes you feel really connected with the characters. The movie heavily depends on the characters and their backstories, to get that emotional impact from the audience and it works. With strong writing, the movie explores each character enough, to really connect with who they are, what they are like and what they are capable of. I was able to get a real good look at who was on screen and that alone made the movie a really great watch.
Performances can always break or make a movie. You can have a great script and still have a "bad" movie, if the delivery isn't there. Luckily Knock At The Cabin had a great ensemble cast that delivered the material and story with ease. Every scene had emotion and carried a significant impact to the story. The biggest standout is Dave Bautista. He was able to do so much over his career, to really show that he has great acting capabilities. We have seen him play so many different characters at this point and it is truly amazing to see his growth. His character, Leonard, is not only threatening, but also a sweet heart. A calm personality, but he also can break every bone in your body type of character. His soft tone and well spoken lines makes for a chilling experience. He brought to the table the most tension in the majority of the scenes. I do want to point out that Rupert Grint has a specific scene where he shines as well. A very impactful scene that introduces one of the elements of the movie, that was horrific to watch. Another great performance comes from both Jonathan Groff and Ben Aldridge. They both had amazing on screen chemistry and really showed what true love looks like. With everyone's performance, the movie hits on so many impactful emotional levels.
Overall the Knock At The Cabin is one of the best movies that have been released this year and I think is one of M. Night's best. There is some amazing well crafted shots in this movie that left me mesmerized. Camera movements were wild and there was such clean editing, which allowed the movie to have a nice steady pace. I do think this movie will really connect with people more in the horror genre, but all audiences can get something out it. For those who love M. Night's twists, they will still get what they came for, but the movie is more straight forward then one might think going into it. There are a lot of cool surprises throughout the story, but the movie is pretty in your face of what is really going on. The big thing to highlight in the movie is indeed the performances and the emotional impact it had. I think people will connect with these characters and really get to know them. Visually the movie lacks some good CGI in some scenes that took me out a bit, but overall still got the job done. This movie is absolutely worth checking out and I highly recommend people to give it a chance.
Total Score: 88/100
Written By: Frederick Nuti