To say that writer/director M. Night Shyamalan doesn’t divide audiences is a wildly inaccurate statement because his work can arguable by defined as some of the most divisive work from a creator today. He always manages to do something with the films he makes, giving credence to the phrase “a Shyamalan twist.” While some of his work may certainly be questionable, at least the willingness to swing for the fences is there and to deliver something audiences are usually at least passionate about after the credits roll. I don’t think there is an M. Night movie where anyone’s opinion is even in the middle of the road; everything he makes seems to either be loved or absolutely hated by audiences. And this brings us to his latest outing, in what appears to be his first “true” adaptation, Knock at the Cabin, based on the book The Cabin at the End of the World.
Considering how much M. Night seems to enjoy creating his own worlds and telling his own stories, it was intriguing, right out of the gate, that he adapted a book to film considering that if he were to stay true to the source material, there wouldn’t be a signature twist. However, after watching the film and it being mostly true to the book, this outing was more than a pleasant surprise. It certainly felt the least signature for his direction and style, especially in storytelling, but the essence and overall core of the story is still something very Shyamalan.
The story focuses on Eric and Andrew (Jonathan Groff and Ben Aldridge, respectively) and their daughter Wen (Kirsten Cui) as they’re on a remote vacation in the woods. While the dads are relaxing on the back porch, Wen is out catching grasshoppers and is approached by a mysterious man, Leonard (Dave Bautista), as he explains to Wen that her dads are going to have to make a difficult choice to ensure the survival of humanity, and that she is going to have to explain to her dads that they need to let Leonard and his friends inside the cabin so they can explain what is at stake.
Wen is rightfully disturbed and runs back to her dads, and this leads them to lock the cabin down and protect their daughter. However, Leonard is determined to speak to Eric and Andrew and explain that he and his cohorts of Redmond (Rupert Grint), Sabrina (Nikki Amuka-Bird), and Adriane (Abby Quinn) are essentially the four horsemen of the apocalypse and their message of warning to Andrew, Eric, and Wen is, in short, if they don’t choose one to sacrifice, the world will simply face an extinction event leaving only them left to wander the lifeless planet.
While, senior critic Hunter Heilman has already written an in-depth review of Knock at the Cabin that I agree with, I will not dive into my own critical analysis of the film, but will now focus on the home release elements. While Universal is releasing Knock at the Cabin on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and digital, I was sent the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack to review at home. I have touched upon my feelings previously on including a DVD in the year 2023, but to include a DVD and omit the digital is something that does irk me. The digital is always a nice accompaniment so the film can be viewed while not in front of one’s dedicated setup at home, but a DVD in this modern age feels so old school and retro that it should be secondary to the digital if included at all. While looking at a film that was shot in the 2020s, the differences between 2160p and 1080p is going to be so minimal that the Blu-ray will absolutely suffice for a home viewing, but if the 4K Ultra HD is priced similarly, or you’re a completist who wants uniformity of the shelf, then there is no harm in getting the higher but arguably negligible difference in quality.
The special features across all platforms are the same, which is a nice bonus, so no matter how you bring home this movie, you will have the full experience of the film and the features at your viewing pleasure. There are six features in total, but, oddly enough, it is missing a director’s commentary, which, for this movie in particular, would’ve been a great added bonus and would have provided some extra insight and intrigue. M. Night Shyamalan’s Knock at the Cabin is truly an edge-of-your-seat thriller that is packed with special features and will be a great addition to any collector’s growing movie collection and for anyone who enjoys the rest of M. Night’s work when it manages to knock it out of the park.
Knock at the Cabin Special Features:
- Four (4) Deleted Scenes (5:35)
- Chowblaster Infomercial extended (1:10)
- Choosing Wisely: Behind the Scenes of Knock at the Cabin (23:37)
- Tools of the Apocalypse (5:03)
- Drawing a Picture (3:36)
- Kristen Cui Shines a Light (3:46)
Available on digital-to-own March 24th, 2023.
Available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD May 9th, 2023.
For more information, head to Universal’s official Knock at the Cabin website.
Categories: Films To Watch, Home Release, Recommendation
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