Where I Watched it: peacock
English Audio Description?: Yes
The elephant in this cabin is that this is a M Night Shyamalan movie. So, if you know that, you are probably here not wanting any twists or turns spoiled for you. unfortunately, it makes it really hard to discuss the film, and why I didn’t like it. So, I’ll offer my grade upfront, and say that I thought the audio description for this film was adequate. if you want to know more, read on after the grade.
Final Grade: D+
OK. So, now I feel like I have free reign to discuss spoilers. man, I did NOT see that iron Man cameo coming.
Just a checking to make sure those who don’t want to be spoiled stopped reading. iron Man isn’t in this, but if he was, it probably would have made the film better. What Shyamalan does right here, since you already know it has such a low grade, is that he found a lovely child actress, who actually acts like a child. She’s not wise beyond her years. She’s a kid. Also, he does not fuck around with your time. This movie gets going super fast, but then slows the hell down.
Almost immediately, we see our young star in the woods playing, when a stranger comes up to talk to her. He’s played by the hulking Dave Bautista, probably the last person I’d send to talk to a child alone in the woods without seeming threatening, except in this he’s a teacher, and great with kids. So much for type casting.
Basically, we find out that Bautista is here with three others, to prevent the end of the world. The little girl is on vacation in this remote cabin with her two dads, and one of them must die, but cannot kill themselves, and the group must be in agreement. If this doesn’t happen, the world ends.
The dads, played by Jonathan Groff and Ben Aldridge, are fine. Groff is injured early on and somewhat out of it for the remainder of the film, so Aldridge does most of the serious talking.
Why I didn’t like this film. First, the Shyamalan twist is ruined entirely. While in the cabin, we are shown footage on a TV that is supposedly live of these catastrophic situations where tons of people are dying. In the audio description, the narrator confusingly labeled these as pretaped, but by the end of the film it’s obvious that they were not. The news anchor exhibits very little emotion, and TONS of people are dying.
I live in the area where you might have heard that a local reporter was shot and killed while reporting on a previous shooting. I can tell you, that the reactions when the reporters had to tell this story was so overwhelming. not just on the network he worked for, but all local news. And that was just one guy. Lots of crying. I also remember 9/11, and the newscasters during that. They were floored. And who can forget the historical footage of Walter Cronkite trying to tell the American public that President Kennedy had just been shot. The news anchor for this fake news coverage must be an android. The lack of emotion was off putting.
Also, I think he reveals too much as a director with this film. Instead of leaving it open ended, like what does all this mean? He instead very much confirms that the apocalypse was upon them, and the only way it could be stopped was for someone to die.
Now, as a gay critic as well, I’m not crazy about the idea that God sent four strangers to a cabin where they tie up a gay couple until one of them agrees to die. We have enough problems right now without this level of messaging, that God’s wrath chose this couple. And, as we see from the history between at least one of the strangers and one of the couple, this was not random.
God needed either a gay dad to die, or their daughter, because she is actually in play. it’s just that they would never kill their kid.
There is a ton of exposition, and we have to learn about all the four horsemen so that their deaths matter. It made me wonder with the mom and the nurse there, why the giant dude was the one who went to talk to the little girl.
Also, the statement is pretty clear, that everyone has to be in agreement. So, was the girl OK with one of her dads dying? That isn’t really explored.
People have stated that they think this is one of Night’s better films, and I think those people are nuts. This is one of his worst films ever. i generally like him, and would openly recommend The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs, and Split easily. I’d also nudge people toward Lady in The water, a film I enjoyed and think is underrated. But, this? If the four horsemen came to my home, and told me I had to watch Knock At the Cabin again or the world would end…
I guess the world would end.
in case you forgot: D+