Knock at the Cabin

Knock at the Cabin
Knock at the cabin.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byM. Night Shyamalan
Screenplay by
  • M. Night Shyamalan
  • Steve Desmond
  • Michael Sherman
Based onThe Cabin at the End of the World
by Paul G. Tremblay
Produced by
  • M. Night Shyamalan
  • Marc Bienstock
  • Ashwin Rajan
Edited byNoemi Katharina Preiswerk
Music byHerdís Stefánsdóttir
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release dates
  • January 30, 2023 (2023-01-30) (Rose Hall)
  • February 3, 2023 (2023-02-03) (United States)
Running time
100 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$20 million[2]
Box office$36.8 million[3][4]

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 of three are vacationing at a remote cabin, but they are suddenly held hostage by four strangers, who demand they sacrifice one of their own to avert the apocalypse.

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 $36 million worldwide.


Seven-year-old Wen is vacationing with her parents, Eric and Andrew, at their remote cabin in rural Pennsylvania. While catching grasshoppers, Wen is approached by a stranger named Leonard. Initially charming, he explains that he needs Wen and her parents' help to save the world. However, while Wen and Leonard spend time together catching grasshoppers, she becomes suspicious when three other people appear with makeshift weapons. Wen flees to warn Eric and Andrew, but the visitors break into the cabin and tie them up, with Eric sustaining a concussion.

Leonard and his companions—Sabrina, Adriane, and Redmond—claim that they have never met before this day and have no intention of harming the family. However, in the past week, they have been driven by visions and an unknown force to find the family. The group foresees an impending apocalypse in which Leonard claims oceans will rise, a pandemic will spread, the sky will fall, and darkness will envelop the earth. The only way to prevent this is for the family to sacrifice one of their own. They are warned that, although they will survive the apocalypse, if they do not make a choice, they will be the last people alive. Eric and Andrew suspect that the group is lying and that the attack is motivated by hatred and delusion.

When the family refuses to make a choice, the visitors sacrifice Redmond by covering his head with a cloth and beating him to death with their weapons. A concussed Eric sees a figure of light as Redmond dies. On television, media reports show devastating megatsunamis, which Leonard declares is the beginning of the apocalypse. Andrew recognizes Redmond, whom he believes to be Rory O'Bannon, a homophobic man who had assaulted him in a bar years earlier, leading to Rory's imprisonment. Andrew thinks that Rory tracked him down for revenge. Leonard, Sabrina, and Adriane question Andrew's assumption and grapple with their guilt, but still hold onto their visions. They reveal that Redmond's death has unleashed the first disaster. The following day, the intruders sacrifice Adriane as the family remains indecisive. The disasters continue as a deadly flu virus, to which children are particularly vulnerable, spreads across the world.

Andrew insists that the disasters are coincidental and that the visitors were anticipating a pre-scheduled news broadcast. Sabrina describes how she and the other visitors were led to find each other online by their visions. Andrew escapes, retrieves his gun from his car, and shoots at Sabrina until she flees. He finds Redmond's wallet and proves to Leonard that he was Rory. Injured from his attack and with their tires slashed, Andrew believes the four came in a truck nearby and suggests that they use it to escape. As Leonard is being held at gunpoint, Sabrina breaks into the house and is shot fatally by Andrew. Eric and Andrew then lock Leonard in the bathroom. Leonard tricks Andrew into coming into the bathroom by making him think he escaped through the window, and then overpowers him, stealing the gun.

Leonard sacrifices Sabrina and the broadcast shows spontaneous plane crashes occurring around the world. Realizing their time is nearly over, Leonard leads the three to the back deck as the sky darkens. Leonard informs them that after his death, they will only have a few minutes to make a decision before slashing his own throat. Upon his death, lightning causes fires and more planes to crash. Eric now believes that the events are real, and that the intruders represent the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Not wanting Wen to grow up in a destroyed world, Eric offers himself as the sacrifice. He reveals that during Redmond's sacrifice he saw a vision of Andrew and an adult Wen. Eric feels that their family was chosen to make the sacrifice because their love was pure. Reluctantly, Andrew shoots and kills Eric before lightning strikes, setting the cabin on fire.

Andrew and Wen find the visitors' truck with belongings that corroborated their stories. They drive to a crowded diner nearby, where they watch news reports confirming that the disasters have subsided. Returning to the truck, the radio turns on and plays "Boogie Shoes" by KC and the Sunshine Band, the song Eric had played for them on their drive to the cabin.



M. Night Shyamalan at a San Diego Comic-Con panel wearing a white shirt and talking into a microphone.
Writer, director, and producer M. Night Shyamalan

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.[6][7] 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.[8][9] Old (2021) was the first film in that deal, with Knock at the Cabin being the second.[10][11] The first draft was halfway completed by July 2021, and the title was revealed in October.[12][13] Shyamalan said the script was the fastest he had ever written in his career.[14]

Castings were announced from December 2021 to July 2022. They included Dave Bautista,[15] Rupert Grint, Nikki Amuka-Bird,[16] Ben Aldridge, Jonathan Groff,[17] and Abby Quinn.[18] Shyamalan cited Bautista's performance in Blade Runner 2049 (2017) as the reason he wanted him to star in Knock at the Cabin.[19] Principal photography took place in Burlington County, New Jersey, from April 19 to June 10, 2022, with cinematographers Jarin Blaschke and Lowell A. Meyer.[20][21][22][23] Shyamalan shot the film with 1990s lenses to give it an "old-school thriller" look.[24] During post-production, Herdís Stefánsdóttir composed the score.[25]

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).[26]


Knock at the Cabin premiered in New York City at Rose Hall on January 30, 2023.[27] The film was theatrically released on February 3, 2023, by Universal Pictures.[13] The release was originally set for February 17 before being brought forward by two weeks as to avoid competition with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.[9]


Box office

As of February 12, 2023, Knock at the Cabin has grossed $23.4 million in the United States and Canada, and $13.3 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $36.7 million.[3][4]

In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside 80 for Brady, and was projected to gross $15–17 million from 3,643 theaters in its opening weekend.[2] The film made $5.4 million on its first day, including $1.5 million from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $14.2 million, displacing Avatar: The Way of Water from atop the box office.[28] The film made $5.5 million in its second weekend (a drop of 61%), finishing in sixth.[29]

Critical response

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 68% based on 273 reviews with an average rating of 6.3/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Although it's often less than scary and parts of the story don't bear scrutiny, Knock at the Cabin is a thought-provoking chiller and upper-tier Shyamalan."[30] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 63 out of 100, based on 59 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[31] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C" on an A+ to F scale, while those polled by PostTrak gave it a 56% positive score, with 35% saying they would definitely recommend it.[28]

Reviewing for, Nick Allen gave the film 2 out of 4 stars, commending the "rich and earthy" cinematography and Bautista's "disarming" performance, but ultimately finding the film "frustrating and self-serious", adding "M. Night Shyamalan should probably just stay away from the apocalypse."[32]


  1. ^ "Knock at the Cabin (15)". BBFC. Retrieved January 31, 2023.
  2. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (January 31, 2023). "M. Night Shyamalan's 'Knock At The Cabin' To Knock 'Avatar 2' Out Of No. 1 Spot – Box Office Preview". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 1, 2023.
  3. ^ a b "Knock at the Cabin (2023)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved February 12, 2023.
  4. ^ a b "Knock at the Cabin (2023)". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved February 12, 2023.
  5. ^ Abdulbaki, Mae (February 6, 2023). "Where To Spot M. Night Shyamalan's Cameo In Knock At The Cabin". Screen Rant. Retrieved February 8, 2023.
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  9. ^ a b McClintock, Pamela (September 16, 2019). "M. Night Shyamalan Sets His Next Two Movies at Universal for Release in 2021, 2023". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on July 30, 2021. Retrieved August 2, 2021.
  10. ^ McClintock, Pamela; Couch, Aaron (June 23, 2020). "Universal Sets M. Night Shyamalan's Next Movie for July 2021". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on August 1, 2021. Retrieved August 2, 2021.
  11. ^ Riley, Jenelle (July 21, 2021). "M. Night Shyamalan on Old, His Mischievous Side and How Unbreakable Was Ahead of Its Time". Variety. Archived from the original on August 2, 2021. Retrieved August 2, 2021.
  12. ^ "M. Night Shyamalan Answers the Web's Most Searched Questions". Wired. July 23, 2021. Archived from the original on September 27, 2021. Retrieved September 27, 2021.
  13. ^ a b Haring, Bruce (October 13, 2021). "M. Night Shyamalan's Next Universal Pic Gets New Release Date & Official Title". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 14, 2021. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
  14. ^ Cavanaugh, Patrick (December 17, 2021). "M. Night Shyamalan Says New Film Knock at the Cabin Is 'Contained and Gigantic'". Retrieved January 12, 2022.
  15. ^ Kroll, Justin (December 6, 2021). "Dave Bautista To Star In M. Night Shyamalan's Next Film Knock At The Cabin". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on December 7, 2021. Retrieved December 6, 2021.
  16. ^ Kroll, Justin (February 16, 2022). "Rupert Grint And Nikki Amuka-Bird Join Dave Bautista In M. Night Shyamalan's Knock At The Cabin". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on February 16, 2022. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  17. ^ Kroll, Justin (March 3, 2022). "Pennyworth Star Ben Aldridge & Jonathan Groff Join M. Night Shyamalan's Knock At The Cabin". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  18. ^ Grobar, Matt (July 18, 2022). "Hell Of A Summer: D'Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, Abby Quinn & Pardis Saremi Join Horror-Comedy From Directors Finn Wolfhard & Billy Bryk". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 18, 2022.
  19. ^ Davids, Brian (January 26, 2022). "M. Night Shyamalan on Servant Season 3 and Casting Dave Bautista to Lead His Next Film". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  20. ^ Squires, John (April 19, 2022). "Knock at the Cabin – Filming Underway on Shyamalan's Fifteenth Feature". Bloody Disgusting. Archived from the original on April 19, 2022. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  21. ^ Kuperinsky, Amy (April 4, 2022). "M. Night Shyamalan Knock at the Cabin movie, AMC Isle of the Dead series film in N.J. as Pete Davidson horror film wraps". Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  22. ^ "Jarin Blaschke Shoots Knock at the Cabin For M. Night Shyamalan". Lux Artists. May 16, 2022. Archived from the original on June 12, 2022. Retrieved June 12, 2022.
  23. ^ Dick, Jeremy (June 11, 2022). "M. Night Shyamalan Wraps Filming on Next Movie Knock at the Cabin". MovieWeb. Archived from the original on June 11, 2022. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  24. ^ Harrison, Alexander (May 6, 2022). "M. Night Shyamalan's New Movie Will Have An Old School Thriller Look". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on May 6, 2022. Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  25. ^ "Herdís Stefánsdóttir to Score M. Night Shyamalan's Knock at the Cabin". Film Music Reporter. September 22, 2022.
  26. ^ Squires, John (December 8, 2022). "Knock at the Cabin Will Be Shyamalan's First 'R' Rated Movie Since The Happening". Bloody Disgusting. Archived from the original on December 8, 2022. Retrieved December 8, 2022.
  27. ^ "Knock at the Cabin premiere in NYC". New York Daily News. January 30, 2023. Retrieved January 31, 2023.
  28. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 5, 2023). "'Knock At The Cabin' Wins Weekend With $14M+ While '80 For Brady' Popular With The Ladies Pulls In More Admissions – Sunday Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 5, 2023.
  29. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 12, 2023). "How Warner Bros Bared It All For A Theatrical Release Of HBO Max Movie 'Magic Mike's Last Dance' – Sunday Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 12, 2023.
  30. ^ "Knock at the Cabin". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved February 11, 2023.
  31. ^ "Knock at the Cabin Reviews". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved February 11, 2023.
  32. ^ Allen, Nick (February 3, 2023). "Knock at the Cabin movie review". Retrieved February 3, 2023.

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