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M. Night Shyamalan
Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge
Writing Credits:
M. Night Shyamalan, Steve Desmond, Michael Sherman

While vacationing, a girl and her parents are taken hostage by armed strangers who demand that the family make a choice to avert the apocalypse.

Box Office:
$20 million.
Opening Weekend:
$14,127,170 on 3643 Screens.
Domestic Gross:

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English Dolby Atmos
English DVS
Spanish DTS 5.1
French DTS 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 100 min.
Price: $24.98
Release Date: 5/9/2023

• 4 Deleted Scenes
• “Choosing Wisely” Featurette
• “Tools of the Apocalypse” Featurette
• “Drawing a Picture” Featurette
• “Kristen Cui Shines a Light” Featurette
• Extended Infomercial


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BDT220P Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Knock at the Cabin [Blu-Ray] (2023)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 17, 2024)

Nearly a quarter of a century after 1999’s Sixth Sense made him a household name, M. Night Shyamalan continues to plug along as a feature director. For his latest offering, we head to 2023’s Knock at the Cabin.

Eric (Jonathan Groff) and Andrew (Ben Aldridge) take their seven-year-old daughter Wen (Kristen Cui) for a relaxing vacation in the woods. When Wen plays by herself in the forest, a mysterious stranger named Leonard (Dave Bautista) approaches her.

Leonard acts as the first of four visitors, and he comes with a disturbing message. Leonard and the others claim that an apocalypse will come if Eric, Andrew and Wen don’t agree on a difficult decision.

Movies like Cabin run into trouble with trailers. On one hand, ads need to give enough plot information to entice an audience, but on the other hand, these promos should avoid spoilers or too much narrative material.

In the case of Cabin, I think the trailers went too far. As I entered the movie, I knew more about it than I wanted, so this left the final product without great room for suspense and exploration.

That said, Cabin delivers a story that essentially exists as an ending with a plot built around it. Of course, Shyamalan’s MO leaves that as a persistent problem anyway.

Ever since the “big twist” that finished Sixth Sense, Shyamalan primed audiences to anticipate a major twist at the end. Even though not all his movies go down that path, viewers nonetheless figure they’ll get a shocking development by the time the end credits roll.

In the case of Cabin, we encounter one pressing question. Do Leonard and colleagues act as the literal Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, or are they just crazed fanatics?

The bigger issue: will we care? In the case of this particular viewer, the answer essentially becomes no.

The movie comes based on Paul Tremblay’s 2018 book The Cabin at the End of the World. Given the nature of the film, I figured it stemmed from a short story, not a full-fledged novel.

Nope – Tremblay’s text spans over 300 pages. That feels like more than enough material around which to build a feature.

And perhaps it is but Shyamalan just doesn’t use that time very well. Rather than become a tight thriller, the movie tends to meander and move at a slow pace.

The use of flashbacks doesn’t help. Dotted through the film, we get glimpses of how the Andrew/Eric relationship evolved, their adoption of Wen, and connected domains.

These decisions feel like a mistake, especially when we wind up with Andrew’s connection to Redmond (Rupert Grint), one of Leonard’s colleagues. All this backstory intends to flesh out the main roles but it just feels superfluous and takes away from the claustrophobia and tension inherent in the narrative.

Even beyond that, the thin story just lacks much to keep the audience involved. No one ever accused Shyamalan of being a subtle filmmaker, and that turns into another issue.

As such, the theoretical question of whether or not Leonard and crew are prophets or nutbags never really feels like it’s up for grabs. At the risk of potential spoilers, it’s not in the Shyamalan MO to end without a bang, so read into that what you may.

That Shyamalan trend robs Knock of much real tension, though as noted, we don’t really care anyway. The movie fails to present any of the characters as especially interesting, so we don’t do much to invest in their fates.

Actually, I do find an exception to this rule via Bautista’s Leonard. Bautista conveys the role’s internal conflict and makes Leonard the only genuinely three-dimensional and compelling character.

Otherwise, Knock winds up as a thin and rarely particularly intriguing thriller. While not the worst Shyamalan movie, it nonetheless fails to find a groove.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus C

Knock at the Cabin appears in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. As expected, the movie presented positive visuals.

Overall definition seemed good. A few slightly soft spots emerged but the majority of the movie provided appealing accuracy.

Jagged edges and moiré effects didn’t mar the presentation, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to appear.

In terms of palette, Cabin went with a genre typical mix of teal and amber, with some dull green represented in forest shots. Within stylistic choices, the hues seemed well-depicted.

Blacks were dark and dense, and shadows gave us good clarity. I felt pleased with this transfer.

As for the Dolby Atmos audio, it offered a mostly typical horror/thriller soundscape. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, this meant a fair amount of creepy atmosphere and occasional “jolt moments”. Apocalypse-related material also created engulfing information.

Along with good stereo music, the soundfield was able to open things up in a satisfying manner that embellished the story. We got a nice sense of various elements along with a useful sense of the spooky bits, some of which worked really well.

Audio quality was largely good. Music appeared full and rich, while effects demonstrated nice clarity and accuracy.

Speech was natural and distinctive throughout the film. Low-end felt warm and deep. The mix used the speakers well and created a fine sense of the tale.

A smattering of extras appear here, and we get four featurettes. Choosing Wisely 23 minutes, 47 seconds and provides comments from writer/director M. Night Shyamalan, producer Ashwin Rajan, costume designer Caroline Duncan, and actors Rupert Grint, Nikki Amika-Bird, Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, Abby Quinn, and Ben Aldridge.

“Wisely” examines the source and its adaptation, story/characters, cast and performances, and Shyamalan’s impact on the production. A handful of worthwhile notes emerge, but most of “Wisely” just offers happy talk.

Tools of the Apocalypse spans five minutes, three seconds and involves Shyamalan, Duncan, Grint, Quinn, production designer Naaman Marshall and property master Robbie Duncan.

With “Tools”, we look at costumes and props. While brief, the show brings some good information.

Next comes Drawing a Picture, a three-minute, 36-second reel with notes from Bautista, Groff, Shyamalan, Marshall, Duncan, and storyboard artist Brick Mason.

“Picture” looks at planning, preparation and storyboards. Here we find some insights but most of the reel just praises Shyamalan.

Kristen Cui Shines a Light lasts three minutes, 46 seconds and brings info from Groff, Aldridge, Shyamalan, actor Kristen Cui

As expected, “Light” tells us about the work of the movie’s child actor. A few decent thoughts emerge.

Four Deleted Scenes occupy a total of five minutes, 35 seconds. Two show more Andrew/Eric backstory, and a third lets us see a little of the happy family pre-invasion.

Finally, we get a little more exposition from Leonard. None seem important – and I’m glad we lost the one that asked us to swallow 37-year-old Groff as a college student.

Finally, we get Chowblaster Infomercial – Extended. It goes for one minute, 10 seconds and shows the TV ad glimpsed in the movie. It’s fun in an “Easter egg” way.

Like many M. Night Shyamalan films, Knock at the Cabin comes with an intriguing premise. Also like many M. Night Shyamalan films, this one revolves too much around plot twists and gimmicks and too little on strong characters and narrative development. The Blu-ray boasts solid picture and audio but bonus materials seem mediocre. This turns into a disappointing flick.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 2
0 3:
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