Our take on Knock at the Cabin: should we believe M.Night Shyamalan?

Missing from our screens last year, we left Mr. Night Shyamalan with one Old shunned by the public (grossed only $90 million worldwide) and to more than mixed reviews. It is not enough to destabilize the filmmaker who returns once again with a project born from the mind of another.

Adapted from the novel Cabin at the end of the world by Paul G. Tremblay, Knock in the booth will sign the return in favor of a director who has given us the best and the worst during his career? CNET France opinion.

Synopsis of the movie

Young Wen is enjoying a vacation with her two fathers, Eric and Andrew, in a secluded cabin in the woods by a lake. Just then Leonard appears, a colossus followed by three other armed men.

Four strangers will quickly take over the place, take the family hostage and offer them to make a choice that could save the world from an impending apocalypse. But it won’t be easy…

Knock, knock, knock on heaven’s door

When you start a movie directed by M.Night Shyamalan, all you know is that you know nothing. It must be said that the director has made it his specialty to surprise us, not by the turns of which he has the secret, but by the quality of his works, starting with excellence (Unbreakable) to the turnip that we would prefer to forget (after Earth). A man with many faces, a bit like his monster Separatedthat seems often caught between his own aspirations, public expectations, and what Hollywood wanted him to do.

A name that today no longer arouses crowds of moviegoers, but still attracts curiosity, because we know the talent of man when he manages to free himself from the shackles of a “Shyamalan style movie”. By copying ourselves, we end up parodying ourselves. Ask Tim Burton. So we begin Knock in the booth with this desire to know which Shyamalan we will enjoy.

If we have to compare this new feature film with the previous works of its author, Knock in the booth is closely related to signs, which many consider the high point of his early Hollywood career. There is a camera around a family unit that witnesses external events and whose only choice will be to believe or not in the nature of the latter.

As often with M. Night Shyamalan, faith will be at the center of the story. Whether among the surprise guests or within this imprisoned gay couple, the film aims to question our certainties and trust. Without further ado, the visuals begin home invasion almost immediately, the story takes us in a single direction, this famous choice, the characters and its audience to think about what they want to question or not.

At this point, it can be blamed Knock in the booth or certain lack of subtlety. The director presents the events to us as facts, and if Andrew clings to his certainties looking for the slightest flaw to exploit, the script itself avoids applying this feeling of doubt too strongly to those around him. Hard to doubt for long when the feature film insists so much on the veracity of the facts until abandoning the smallest inverse probability from the third occurrence. If we can always try to convince ourselves, in the end it is dictated more by our convictions than by a contradictory spirit.

However, we can only attribute intentions Knock in the booth never claimed to have. If the subject remains pachydermic, he remains extremely accomplished by a filmmaker with his boots and his project. The fiduciary contract made with the public is simple, unadorned, and will be carried out to the final conclusion (which differs from the book) which each will appreciate or not according to his own ideas. Knock in the booth never deviate from its concept and this is to his credit.

All the more so that the director manages to make his script exist simply by presenting it in images, playing with narrow throttle frames to express both physical and mental prison with close-ups of her actors’ faces. Everything is done to highlight each new level traversed by characters subject to forces that surpass them.

At this point, it is necessary to emphasize the greater power of Knock in the booth : an extraordinary caste. It only takes a little Jonathan Groff and Ben Aldrige to convince us of the almost supernatural alchemy between the calm Eric and the impulsive Andrea. The young people Kristen Cui looks like a child prodigy from the age of seven. Rupert Grint continues to convince us that he was the best of the three children Harry Potter AND Nikki Amuka-Bird and Abby Quinn are true transmitters of emotions.

But everyone gives way the colossal talent of Dave Bautista. The former wrestler continues to lead his career ten trains ahead of his former colleagues, taking advantage of each role to make himself indispensable. And his path had to cross that of an M.Night Shyamalan to pass another course. The actor embodies here the perfect meeting between an oppressive presence and a soothing softness. Between physical threat and emotional sensitivity. An ambiguity upon which every clue of the film is based. The tap in the cabin rests almost entirely on his shoulders and in the credits no one can deny that they are very solid.

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