Were the heroes of the thriller Knock at the Shack chosen?
Knock at the Cabin (2023): plot summary, meaning, explanation of the ending, similar films.
Year of production: 2023
Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Actors: Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, Ben Eldredge
tagline: “Save your family or save humanity. Make the choice”
In his new film, M. Night Shyamalan ruthlessly throws the viewer into the world of chthonic minimalism and the clash of the elements. The plot and meaning of the film Knock at the Cabin cannot be called super original: here the director simply offers to answer the question: what is more valuable – the life of a loved one or the fate of all mankind? In terms of the banality of the moral choice, it can be compared with the task of a train driver and son, and in terms of subconscious depth – with a suicidal simulation. The creators of the tape are well aware of this and therefore they drag out the answer until the very end. After all, it is not the plot twist that is more important here, but what the viewer thinks about what is happening.
What is the movie about
A brief description of the content of the film Knock at the Cabin. Two men, Eric and Andrew, are raising seven-year-old Wen. One day, they all go on vacation to the Pennsylvania countryside, where they have a small cabin.
Kristen Tsui played the role of Wen, Ben Aldridge as Eric and Jonathan Groff as Andrew. Frame from the film.
Somehow, the girl goes to catch grasshoppers and during the “hunt” she meets a man who introduces herself to her as Leonard. The man is friendly, but his words that he is going to save the world from a certain threat and he needs the help of her parents scare the girl. Seeing three people approaching them with makeshift weapons, Wen runs to the house and reports the danger. But the family does not have time to take precautions – four strange people break into the hut, tie everyone up and beat Eric on the head, who has the strongest resistance.
After that, the attackers introduce themselves. Leonard, Sabrina, Adriana and Redmond argue that the family should not be afraid of them. It’s just that something happened last week that made them act in such a drastic way. A strange company claims that the apocalypse will come very soon. According to the mystic Leonard, soon the oceans will rise, the pandemic will spread everywhere, the sky will fall, and darkness will swallow the earth. The only way to prevent this for the chosen little family living in this hut is to sacrifice someone close to them. If they do not, they will be the last living people on the planet after the apocalypse.
After listening to this, Eric and Andrew realize that they have probably become prisoners of real psychopathic cultists. Soon they will be convinced of this: refusing to make a terrible choice, they become witnesses of how Leonard’s group is sacrificed by Redmond. When he dies, Eric, who received a strong blow to the head, sees a strange luminous figure.
Abby Quinn as Sabrina, Nikki Amuka-Bird as Adriana, Dave Bautista as Leonard, Rupert Grint as Redmond. Frame from the film.
Meanwhile, a devastating tsunami is reported in the media, and Leonard confidently says that he comprehends the meaning of this phenomenon: we are talking about the beginning of the apocalypse. In the murdered Redmond, Andrew suddenly recognizes the man who attacked him in a bar a few years ago. His name was then Rory O’Bannon. The man suggests aloud that it was Rory who put together a squad to pursue him and his family. Leonard’s group denies this.
The next day, Leonard again asks the protagonists to make a choice, and after refusing, he and Sabrina sacrifice Adrian. The media, meanwhile, is reporting on a deadly influenza virus, especially vulnerable to children, that is spreading at an incredible rate across the planet. Leonard again speaks with his interpretation of what is happening: another angel has trumpeted and the judgment on humanity is approaching.
Andrew believes that everything that happens is an accident and you should not sum up your crazy ideas under it. Having managed to escape, he runs out of the cabin, pulls a gun from the car and shoots at Sabrina, but misses.
Finding Redmond’s purse, he discovers an identity card in it, issued in the name of Rory O’Bannon. Returning to the hut, he takes aim at Leonard and calls for the family to flee in the truck that the intruders drove here. At that moment, Sabrina runs into the cabin and Andrew shoots her. Leonard decapitates his mortally wounded partner, then confronts Andrew and takes his gun from him. The media talk about the increasing number of air crashes that occur around the world.
The sky suddenly darkens and Leonard announces that there is very little time left. He also tells the family that after his death they will only have a few minutes to decide, and then slits his own throat. After that, fires spread all over the earth, and plane crashes become more frequent.
Knock at the Cabin Ending explanation
Explanation of the ending of the picture. Closer to the final, the family is convinced that everything that happens really has a meaning and the terrible events that they witnessed are not accidental.
Eric claims that he had a vision during Redmond-Rory’s sacrifice. He saw the future, Andrew and a grown-up Wen. In his opinion, their family was chosen to prevent a world tragedy because they are all connected by love. With great reluctance, Andrew fulfills Eric’s wish and kills him, after which their hut catches fire from a lightning strike.
She and Van find the truck that Leonard’s group arrived in. In it, they find things that confirm all the words of the “intruders”. Getting into the truck, they drive to the nearest diner to watch the news. The media says that all natural disasters stopped as suddenly as they began. Returning to the driver’s seat, Andrew turns on the radio, which plays the song “Boogie Shoes”, which, by a strange coincidence, Eric played for them on the road.
On the one hand, the meaning of the ending of the film “Knock at the Shack” is quite simple: Eric’s self-sacrifice saved the family and humanity as a whole. On the other hand, the picture was shot by M. Night Shyamalan, and nothing is easy with him. In their analysis of the finale and the tape as a whole, viewers notice that Leonard once mentioned that he only had a vision of the hut – they did not know who was inside. That is, Andrew, Eric and Wen may or may not be elected. The world was indeed in distress, and Eric’s death seemed to stop the apocalypse. But this could also be a mere coincidence. So what was it? The director does not answer the question directly and does not impose his opinion – he simply invites you to think. According to the concept of the film, everyone will be right in their own way.
Frame from the film.
The meaning of the film Knock at the Cabin
M. Night Shyamalan is known for his love of paintings with hidden meanings, but his work is evaluated very ambiguously. However, the latest work of the director, Knock at the Cabin, is interesting in its concept.
The film is based on Paul J. Tremblay’s novel, The Cabin at the End of the World. Tough, fast-paced and complex, the book, which was praised by Stephen King himself, operates with familiar themes of family and self-sacrifice. Shyamalan goes a little further, offering the viewer to get to the bottom of the film on their own and at the same time participate in a kind of thought experiment. The point is to honestly answer yourself the question: how far are you willing to go for the sake of loved ones.
At the same time, questions of various conspiracy theories and the influence of the media on the consciousness of society are raised in this tape. The film perfectly shows how the picture of reality is formed through the prism of other people’s words and news reports, which, in principle, cannot be verified. That is, “Knocking at the Hut” also works as a manifesto – somewhat simple and even banal, but still very sincere. Therefore, we can probably conclude that this time the director offers us not too “twisted” and complex concepts, but emotional humanity, which consists in an attempt to find warmth, support and care in close people. This is probably the main idea here.
Frame from the film.
Here are a few films that are similar in meaning to Knock at the Cabin:
- “You should have left” (USA, UK, 2014). An elderly banker Theo is married to a promising young actress. On one of the weekends they come to Wales and rent an old house in which the whole family suddenly begins to have nightmares.
- “Fever” (USA, 2003). While on vacation, the five students meet a man with rotting skin. Later it turns out that struck by an unknown infection, this man managed to poison the pond.
- “It Comes at Night” (USA, 2017). The world is being hit by a never-before-seen epidemic. Two families hiding in a small house are trying to survive.