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Starring: Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Kristen Cui, Abby Quinn, Rupert Grint
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Horror thriller directed and co-written by M. Night Shyamalan. Knock at the Cabin (2023) centers on a young girl, Wen (Kristen Cui), and her parents, Eric and Andrew (Jonathan Groff and Ben Aldridge), who while vacationing at a remote cabin, are taken hostage by four armed strangers, led by Leonard (Dave Bautista), who demand that the family make an unthinkable choice to avert the apocalypse. With limited access to the outside world, the family must decide what they believe before all is lost.
Wen: [to the grasshopper] I’m going to name you Kerolien after my friend at school. She’s really nice. But she farts in class sometimes and pretends like she didn’t. So, please don’t do that, because you’re sharing this jar now, and the others won’t like you if you smell. Okay?
Leonard: Hi there. I’m not from around here, but I was hoping to make some new friends. Can I talk to you for a little bit?
Wen: I don’t talk to strangers.
Leonard: Of course you don’t. You shouldn’t. You’re smart. But I’m here to be your friend. So, hopefully, we won’t be strangers for too long.
Wen: Why are you here? Leonard?
Leonard: Why am I here? Well, I suppose I’m here to make friends with you and your dads. Maybe catch some more grasshoppers.
Wen: My lip was broken when I was born. My dads said it took a lot of doctors to fix it.
Leonard: Well, I don’t have a scar like you. But if you could look inside, you’d see that my heart is broken.
Wen: Why is it broken?
Leonard: Because of what I have to do today.
Wen: What do you have to do?
Leonard: You’re my friend, Wen. No matter what happens, I want you to remember that.
Leonard: You see, the four of us have a very important job to do. In fact, it might be the most important job in the history of the world.
Leonard: This isn’t about you, Wen. Or your dads. Okay? You haven’t done anything wrong, but I’m afraid the three of you are going to have to make some tough decisions. Terrible decisions. And I wish with all my broken heart that you didn’t have to.
Wen: [to Eric and Andrew] You have to come inside right now! There’s strangers and they want to come in, and they’re scary!
Wen: There were four of them. The big one, his name’s Leonard. He says we have to help them. He says they have the most important job in the history of the world.
Andrew: Jehovah’s Witnesses?
Leonard: [as he knocks at their door] Hello in there. My name is Leonard, and I’m here with some associates of mine. Can you open the door, please?
Andrew: This guy is frigging huge.
Eric: What do we do?
Andrew: I don’t know. Tell them to go away nicely?
Andrew: [after they hear a knock at their cabin door] There’s a woman carrying something that looks like a pick with a chain and a mallet head at the end.
Wen: If you want to talk, then why do you, have those scary weapons with you?
Leonard: They’re not weapons, Wen. They’re tools.
Eric: They’re breaking in!
Sabrina: It doesn’t have to be like this.
Eric: [to Andrew] Get Wen out of here.
'Our choices make our destiny.' - Adriane (Knock at the Cabin) Click To Tweet
Leonard: Andrew, I assure you that we’re not here with hate or prejudice in our hearts. Not at all.
Leonard: I mean, we’re normal people just like you. We have no choice.
Andrew: There’s always a choice!
Leonard: Okay, you’re right, Andrew. There’s always a choice. So we choose to be here.
Leonard: It’s almost time.
Andrew: Time for what?
Leonard: They deserve to know who we are.
Redmond: We wasted time for this guy to wake up. You know, this get-to-know-you stuff doesn’t matter at all. Doesn’t change what we have to do, or what they have to do.
Leonard: When you say stuff like that, you sound how you sound. You just scare them. You make it less likely that they’ll believe us or cooperate.
Leonard: The four of us are here to prevent the apocalypse. We, and when I say “we”, I mean everyone in this cabin, can stop it from happening. But only with your help. Ultimately, whether the world ends or not is completely up to you three.
Leonard: Your family must choose to willingly sacrifice one of the three of you in order to prevent the apocalypse. After you make what I know is an impossible decision, you must then kill the one you choose. If you fail to choose, or if you fail to follow through with the sacrifice, the world will end. You three will live, but the rest of humanity, seven billion plus, will perish. And you will all live long enough to witness the horror of the end of everything. And you will be left to wander the devastated planet alone. Permanently and cosmically alone.
Leonard: You haven’t done anything wrong to deserve this burden. You’re just the family chosen to decide for us in this time.
Leonard: We’re not here to hurt you.
Leonard: You have to understand that we cannot and will not choose who is to be sacrificed for you. And just as importantly, we cannot act for you. And you cannot kill yourselves.
Andrew: We’re not choosing anyone. We’re not sacrificing anyone! Not now. No ever!
Sabrina: Even if it means the death of everyone else in the world?
Andrew: Yes. Even if I believe the world was at stake, which I don’t, that’s what it means. I would watch the world die a hundred times over before having to…
Redmond: Christ! Waste of time. They’re never going to choose to do this. And I don’t blame them.
'Trust in something more than you.' - Sabrina (Knock at the Cabin) Click To Tweet
Andrew: [to Leonard] There is something wrong with you, with all of you, if you believe this.
Leonard: The skies will fall and crash to the earth like pieces of glass. And God’s fingers will scorch the earth, and an everlasting darkness will descend over humanity.
Andrew: You need help!
Leonard: This is going to happen. And we’ve been shown that only your sacrifice can stop it.
Andrew: [to Leonard] You sound like every fake doomsdayer on every corner of every city.
Leonard: For every “no” you give us, we will unleash a plague for the sins of humanity. Will you make a choice?
Andrew: [as Leonard and the others decide to sacrifice Redmond] Whatever it is you’re convinced of, it isn’t real. This isn’t real.
'They say if you can make an egg great, you can do anything.' - Adriane (Knock at the Cabin) Click To Tweet
Andrew: [to Leonard] Go f*** yourself, Mister Rogers.
Leonard: I explained to you what would happen as a result of you not choosing. A plague will be released by Redmond’s death.
Andrew: You have to listen to me. I remember, but this doesn’t mean anything.
Andrew: I’ll stay. And we can talk about doomsday, or the apocalypse, or mass traumatic events of the 21st century all you want.
Leonard: [as they hear about the earthquake on the news] Unbelievable. There it is. We did this.
Adriane: It’s really f***ing happening.
Leonard: Tomorrow morning, you can make the difficult, selfless choice of sacrifice and save the world, or you can choose once again to let the clock move another minute closer to permanent midnight.
Andrew: It doesn’t matter if we believe your craziness. The answer is still the same. Everyone in the world can die, as far as we’re concerned.
Sabrina: And all of this is real. And I’m saying it to you now, Eric, you need to trust something more than you. You may not want to believe it, but we’re all on the same side.
Eric: I’m on my family’s side.
Sabrina: Say whatever it is you have to say to them. Convince them.
Andrew: You guys met on some kind of message board, right? You’re having a shared delusion. That’s a uniquely 21st century health crisis. It is real. You’re in an echo chamber. You know that, right?
Adriane: None of this can stop until you make a choice. Don’t you get that already?
Adriane: I have a son. I didn’t want to speak his name, but here I am, begging you to do what has to be done. Because if you don’t, my son is going to die. Over the last few days, I’ve had to watch him die over, and over, and over again.
Andrew: None of us believe you. Let your time run out. We’re not going to do what you want us to do.
Adriane: [as she’s about to be sacrificed] A part of humanity has been judged.
Leonard: Hundreds of thousands of people are going to die now. We’ve unleashed a second plague.
Eric: [to Andrew] Always together.
Sabrina: This is triage, like in an emergency room. We have to make the decision to save the most lives. We have to help each other.
Leonard: I believe you were chosen because your family’s love for each other is so pure. I know you’ve been through a lot, and people haven’t been fair to you.
Leonard: You’re dooming us all, Andrew. You’re dooming your husband. You’re dooming your daughter.
Andrew: I’m done with you! I’m not listening to another goddamn word you say.
Leonard: It’s time for the next sacrifice. Are you willing to make a choice?
Andrew: You’re crazy. I’m taking my family, and I’m leaving.
Andrew: [flashback] I have never, for one second of my life, ever doubted loving you. The kid’ll be washed in that every day.
Eric: How is it you can say stuff like that out of nowhere?
Leonard: [after Andrew shoots and kills Sabrina] Are you willing to make a sacrifice?
Andrew: No more, you b****rd.
Leonard: The four of us can’t make this decision. It’s got to be your choice.
Andrew: [after Leonard overpowers him and takes his gun] I thought you wouldn’t kill us.
Leonard: I won’t. But I will shoot you in the leg to keep you from leaving this cabin.
Leonard: You’ll see that everything I said was going to happen has happened.
Wen: [as they’re watching the disasters across the world on the news] You said it wasn’t real.
Eric: “The skies will fall and crash to the earth like pieces of glass.”
Leonard: “And God’s fingers will scorch the earth, and an everlasting darkness will descend over humanity.”
Leonard: [as he’s repeating what the newscaster is reporting] It is hard to describe the images that we are seeing. They fill us with disquietude and horror. We are witnessing a collective tragedy unfathomable only moments before.
Leonard: Maybe the truth is that the end was happening long before we got to this cabin. And what we’re seeing now isn’t the fireworks. It’s just the final flickering sparks.
Andrew: I don’t know what’s going on here. But where are the keys to the truck you guys came in? I’m taking my family, and we’re leaving.
Eric: Do you really think that everything that happened today, everything we’ve seen, do you really think it’s all just a coincidence?
Andrew: Yes. I think it’s all a coincidence. Some horrible, unexplainable coincidence. Or it has to be a trick! I have to believe that!
Leonard: You already don’t believe that. I know when someone’s lying.
Leonard: When I’m gone, you’ll only have minutes to stop everything. After that, it’ll be too late.
Leonard: The worst thing about the visions was the screaming. I could hear everyone screaming. And I knew when the visions ended, the screaming was just going to go on and on.
Leonard: You know what I loved most about teaching kids? They believe everything you say. So you have to be careful. Say only what you know to be true. It’s a big responsibility.
Leonard: Please, my new friends, Eric, Andrew, will you make a choice and save the world?
Leonard: [as he’s about to kill himself] All of humanity has been judged.
Eric: There was something in the light. A figure. And I feel it now.
Andrew: Let’s the three of us leave.
Eric: Maybe this is the way it’s always been. Maybe families have been deciding this all through time.
Andrew: Let’s just walk the earth then. The three of us.
Eric: What kind of life is that for Wen?
Eric: They remind us of all aspects of humanity. Redmond, malice. Adriane, nurturing. Sabrina, healing. Leonard, guidance. They’re the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. I believe we had to see them die. We had to feel their loss.
Andrew: Why us? We’re nothing special.
Eric: It’s our decision.
Andrew: It’s our f***ing decision? We’re supposed to give up our love for them?
Eric: It’s a sacrifice, Andrew. That we would be willing to give up something so beautiful to us for everyone else.
Andrew: They’re not worth it!
Andrew: They hate us, Eric. They hate that we exist.
Eric: They’re just scared. Like all of us.
Andrew: They’re monsters. They destroy everything. They hurt each other.
Andrew: Kill me.
Eric: No, sweetheart.
Eric: We’re running out of time. Maybe I saw a figure, maybe I just made it up, but it’s giving me peace. My mind is set in its truth. I won’t be scared. You got to do it now. We’re out of time. All of us.
Andrew: I don’t believe in them, Eric.
Eric: I do. Do it while I’m thinking the most beautiful thought so that I can have that feeling in my heart to take me right to wherever it is I’m going.
Eric: It’s almost time. I can feel it.
Andrew: Kill me, Eric, please. Please. Please.
[after Eric offers himself as the sacrifice Andrew shoots him]
Wen: Did Daddy Eric save everyone?
[after which they drive to a diner nearby where they watch news reports confirming that the disasters have ended]