Knock At The Cabin Secretly Does Have A Twist (Not What You’d Expect)
Knock at the Cabin may not continue M. Night Shyamalan’s reputation for major plot twists, but the film still presents a great twist for his career.
WARNING! This article contains SPOILERS for Knock at the Cabin’s ending!Knock at the Cabin’s secret twist from M. Night Shyamalan is perfect for reversing expectations of the filmmaker’s work. Ever since the shocking reveal related to Bruce Willis’s character in The Sixth Sense (1999), M. Night Shyamalan has obtained a reputation for including divisive twists at the end of his movies. Even Shyamalan’s most recent projects Glass (2019) and Old (2021) featured his signature twists, but the 2023 thriller Knock at the Cabin surprisingly doesn’t follow his typical formula.
Based on the 2018 novel The Cabin at the End of the World, M. Night Shyamalan’s Knock at the Cabin follows a family who is suddenly presented with an impossible choice in order to stop the apocalypse. Not only do they have to believe the words of their four home intruders, but Knock at the Cabin’s characters must also willingly decide, as a group, to sacrifice one member of their family. As the apocalypse unfolds, Knock at the Cabin sees Eric sacrifice himself to save the world, his husband, and their 7-year-old daughter Wen. In the end, Eric’s willing death has truly ended the apocalypse, with no trademark twist to change the events of the film.
Knock At The Cabin’s Twist Is That There Is No Twist
As audiences have grown accustomed to Shyamalan’s clever and polarizing twists, Knock at the Cabin’s unexpected straightforward ending is a twist in itself. Instead of reading the plot honestly as audiences would for most films, Shyamalan’s reputation leads viewers to eagerly await the moment when the other shoe drops and the twist unfolds. Knock at the Cabin’s ending gives no such satisfaction, becoming one of his few projects without a notable twist. As such, Knock at the Cabin’s twist is more meta in nature, namely that audiences will be shocked that there is no plot twist in Shyamalan’s film; the events that transpire are taken as presented, with no major twist-like development in the last 15 minutes.
In fact, Shyamalan goes out of his way to avoid introducing a twist in Knock at the Cabin. The book that inspired the film included a shocking development in which Wen was accidentally shot and killed when there was a scuffle over Andrew’s gun. In Shyamalan’s movie adaptation, Wen survives and gets to have a happy ending, which, admittedly, isn’t typical for the filmmaker’s characters. The book’s ending also left the truth about the apocalypse ambiguous, whereas Knock at the Cabin confirms that the Four Horsemen’s warnings and visions were genuine. By avoiding such twists and ambiguities, Knock at the Cabin is a stark departure from Shyamalan’s typical formula.
Knock At The Cabin’s Straightforward Ending Is Perfect For Shyamalan’s Future
Before Knock at the Cabin’s positive reviews from critics and audiences, Shyamalan was notably in the midst of a slump in regard to poor reception. Knock at the Cabin is the first time since Split (2016) that a Shyamalan-directed film has received primarily positive reactions. His poor reviews for Glass and Old signaled that Shyamalan had an over-reliance on twists for his films’ success, suggesting he either needed to improve his narratives to warrant the twists or find a new strategy altogether. Knock at the Cabin sees Shyamalan change up his career by doing the latter, which the 2023 thriller’s warm reviews prove is succeeding.
Breaking away from twist endings for more straightforward storytelling may benefit Shyamalan in the long run, as his comeback could usher in a new, fresh era in his approach to horror and mystery. Knock at the Cabin’s greatest twist is that it demonstrates a new Shyamalan, proving the seemingly lost filmmaker still has stakes in the game for the horror genre while also prioritizing thought-provoking themes. Knowing that his career has been associated with plot twists and shocking last-minute developments, Shyamalan gives audiences an even greater thrill by using such expectations against them – a fitting twist in itself to mark his comeback.
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