M. Night Shyamalan Doesn’t ‘KNOCK AT THE CABIN’ Hard Enough!
Oh M. Night Shyamalan I always return to you! Yes he really got a hold on me ever since the ‘Sixth Sense’ and never really let go. I’m always willing to give Shyamalan the benefit of the doubt on whatever he decides to get behind. I can still remember the very first time I saw the Sixth Sense in the theater and was completely blown away. Then he brought us my favorite of his films, ‘Unbreakable’. M. Night stayed pretty consistent in my opinion all the way up until ‘The Happening’. Yes, I really do like ‘Lady in the Water’! DEAL with IT!
He had a few misses there but came back STRONG in 2015 with ‘The Visit’, then ‘Split’ and ‘Glass’ (which I loved) but then imo quickly returned right back to poor form with ‘Old’. Now hes back with ‘Knock at the Cabin’ which sadly is yet another big miss for Mr. Night. Of course, to his credit, all of his films are beautifully shot and well acted but that alone just don’t cut the mustard for his latest endeavor!
Probably the best thing about this movie is the group of strong protagonists, a gay couple and their adopted daughter who’re renting a cabin in the woods. This trio had so much potential to shine, as they’re all really well acted, likable characters that I was hoping would be in a far more compelling horror thriller. Unfortunately I’m sad to say, if you’ve seen Knock at the Cabin’s trailer you’ve basically seen the entire damn movie. Yeah, there’s not much to be said, as it’s sort of feels like a “cliff note” version of the film. Whoever made the decision to release it this way made a serious misstep. Nothing much more of real interest actually happens and it’s a pretty standard paint by number plot. That’s not to say that he always needs to incorporate a “twist” into his pictures. In this there was too much revealed and not enough diversion from the trailer. I was really hoping the movie might move in more interesting directions, hoping perhaps the cabin scenario might be just the first third of the film’s plot, as it was a good set up-the movie never took us much of anywhere else relying on a few flashbacks and tv broadcasts to try and fill in the void on the one location premise.
‘Knock at the Cabin’ doesn’t really bring much of anything else to the table of interest and it certainly doesn’t switch paths to any sort of unexpected narrative. Sure there is a thick hazy fog of tension looming throughout it’s run time but M. Night decided to (spoiler) change the ending drastically into something far more tame and much less interesting than the book it was based on. I gotta confess I’ve never read the book but I knew exactly where this movie was going every step of the way, which is not the way you want to experience an M. Night Shyamalan flick.
That seems to be the big problem, M. Night started out with arguably his greatest film of all time and ever since then he really hasn’t been able to live up to the intensity & mystery of The Sixth Sense. Every time I go to the theater to see one of his films I’m hoping that what he’s going to give me will rival his early films. That’s not an easy task for a filmmaker to achieve 24 years after a crowning achievement with one of the best movie twists in cinematic history. Watching his movies can be difficult when you’re yearning for the movie to pull out the big guns in the plot. What I wish for honestly at this point would be for M. Night to just simply direct some high level horror scripts, ones that he DIDN’T write himself. He’s an incredible director but at this point hes just sort of hit the wall idea wise. I’d love for him to take us to a true ‘R Rated’ level of horror, completely take the gloves off and give us something truly terrifying. His first venture into R-Rated horror was truly pathetic with ‘The Happening’. Knock at the Cabin starts off strong with a great small cast but quickly meander into mediocrity. Truth be told I didn’t even realize his latest film was ‘R Rated’, it felt pretty tame and maybe he needed to amp up the horror/red stuff a few notches to make his mark this time? Where does this film stand in the scope of his filmography? Here’s my ranking:
2: The Sixth Sense
4: The Visit
7: The Village
8: Lady in the Water
9: Knock at the Cabin
10: The Happening
11: After Earth
13: The Last Airbender
I’ve never seen Praying with Anger (1992) or Wide Awake (1998) but I have heard they SUCK! What’s YOUR ranking?
My ranking is Unbreakable. I dont like any of his other movies. I was curious about OLD but havent heard anything positive about it.
Old was pretty bland! you didn’t like Split or Glass?