“Knock at the Cabin” uses biblical themes to tell a story of great grief and sacrifice


Clara Pappas

Released on Friday, Feb. 3, “Knock at the Cabin” depicts a family of three in their attempt to escape four doomsday believers while on vacation.

On Friday, Feb. 3, M. Night Shyamalan’s  “Knock at the Cabin” was released to select theaters. The film follows Eric (Jonathan Groff), Andrew (Ben Aldridge) and Wen (Kristen Cui), their daughter. The family’s on vacation when four strangers hold them hostage and demand they sacrifice one of them to prevent the apocalypse.

Going on vacation together, the three attempt to have a normal trip before being interrupted by the doomsday believers. While catching grasshoppers near the cabin, Wen gets approached by Leonard (Dave Bautista) and three other doomsday believers, Sabrina (Nikki Amuka-Bird), Adriane (Abby Quinn) and Redmond (Rupert Grint). The four follow Wen as she runs back to her parents at the cabin. Breaking their way inside, they explain that the family must choose to sacrifice one of their own in order to escape the impending apocalypse.

Based on Paul Tremblay’s novel “The Cabin at the End of the World,” Shyamalan, director of “The Sixth Sense” and “Split,” adapted it into a screenplay. Though largely based off of Tremblay’s work, “Knock at the Cabin” differs in plot structure and ending. Avoiding spoilers, the novel offers a darker take on the same synopsis, which is quite a shock considering Shyamalan’s reputation in the thriller/horror genre. 

Dave Bautista leads as an elementary school teacher and head of the doomsday group who believes that he is saving the world from the apocalypse. (Clara Pappas)

“I love [his] unique themes and artistic storytelling,” said Neziah Holden, junior.

In addition to their shared synopsis, both share strong biblical themes. Serving as an analogy for the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, each of the kidnappers represent one of the figures. Furthermore, when Leonard first knocks on the cabin door, he knocks seven times. In the Bible, God holds a scroll sealed with seven seals. When the Lamb of God opens the first four, he releases the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. 

“It’s interesting how they incorporate biblical themes,” said Helena Tragas, junior. “It gives a new perspective to the ‘doomsday’ idea.”

Being one of his first films in the thriller/horror industry, Bautista portrays the pain and agony of Leonard, the elementary school teacher who has to force an elementary aged girl to lose one of her fathers. Being well-known for his role as Drax in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy series, Bautista departs beautifully from the traditionally action packed role he is used to. The audience involuntarily sympathizes with him most out of any character.

“The change is drastic to see him go from Marvel to horror,” said Amrita Chhangani, junior.

A psychological thriller, “Knock at the Cabin” goes past the traditional doomsday conspiracy and transforms it into a story of grief and sacrifice. “Knock at the Cabin” is playing in select theaters now.