Knock at the Cabin is a 2023 American apocalyptic psychological horror film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, who wrote the screenplay from an initial draft by Steve Desmond and Michael Sherman. It is based on the 2018 novel The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul G. Tremblay, the first adaptation of one of his works. The film stars Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Kristen Cui, Abby Quinn, and Rupert Grint. In the film, a family vacationing at a remote cabin is suddenly held hostage by four strangers, who ask something unimaginable.
Knock at the Cabin premiered in New York City at the Rose Hall on January 30, 2023, and was theatrically released in the United States on February 3, 2023, by Universal Pictures. The film received generally positive reviews from critics and has grossed over $54 million worldwide.
Knock at the Cabin is an adaptation of the 2018 horror novel The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay, who had signed an option with FilmNation Entertainment in late 2017, prior to the book’s publication, and had to keep secret that the film was based on one of his novels until July 2022. The Black List and GLAAD List listed the initial draft by Steve Desmond and Michael Sherman as one of the most popular unproduced screenplays of 2019. While another director was briefly attached, M. Night Shyamalan read the original screenplay and grew interested in producing. Shyamalan later rewrote the script and came on board to direct the project as part of the two-film partnership between Universal Pictures and his production banner Blinding Edge Pictures. Old (2021) was the first film in that deal, with Knock at the Cabin being the second. The first draft was halfway completed by July 2021, and the title was revealed in October. Shyamalan said the script was the fastest he had ever written in his career.
Castings were announced from December 2021 to July 2022. They included Dave Bautista, Rupert Grint, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Ben Aldridge, Jonathan Groff, and Abby Quinn. Shyamalan cited Bautista’s performance in Blade Runner 2049 (2017) as the reason he wanted him to star in Knock at the Cabin. Principal photography took place in Burlington County, New Jersey, from April 19 to June 10, 2022, with cinematographers Jarin Blaschke and Lowell A. Meyer. Shyamalan shot the film with lenses from the 1990s, to give it an “old-school thriller” look. During post-production, Herdís Stefánsdóttir composed the score. Shyamalan chose to change the ending of the film and make it different from the book so that it was not as dark and open-ended.
The film received an R-rating from the Motion Picture Association for “violence and language”, making it Shyamalan’s second film to receive that rating after The Happening (2008).
- Dave Bautista as Leonard Brocht
- Jonathan Groff as Eric
- Ben Aldridge as Andrew
- Nikki Amuka-Bird as Sabrina
- Rupert Grint as Redmond
- Abby Quinn as Adriane
- Kristen Cui as Wen
- M. Night Shyamalan as an infomercial host
February 3, 2023
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