It was only a few weeks ago when we wrote something about the concerns that were building about the way divisive director M. Night Shyamalan might be tackling the story of upcoming February feature Knock at the Cabin. An adaptation of award-winning horror author Paul G. Tremblay’s notably open-ended novel The Cabin at the End of the World, there’s a big question to be asked in terms of how faithful Shyamalan plans to be to a book where all the horror is in uncertainty, with no real plot-driven payoff. At the time, we expressed doubt that Shyamalan would be able to bring himself to write a script for Knock at the Cabin that would keep Tremblay’s ambiguity in place, and would instead give in to his typical compulsion to give black and white answers. And lo and behold, the just-revealed new trailer for Knock at the Cabin certainly seems to imply that our fears were well-founded, as the images we see here make the more supernatural aspects of Tremblay’s novel seemingly more literal and impossible to deny than they ever are on the page. You can see the trailer for yourself below.
This really shouldn’t come as a surprise—after all, Shyamalan did pretty much the same thing in 2021 with Old, taking the ambiguous ending of the graphic novel source material and instead turning it into something more concrete and ludicrous. The guy just doesn’t seem to care for uncertainty, because choosing not to spell everything out for the audience gets in the way of the style of rug-pulling plot twist he’s been associated with ever since The Sixth Sense. Why wouldn’t he go ahead and do it again on Knock at the Cabin? Even Tremblay has sounded like an author bracing himself for disappointment by reminding himself of how much he’s getting paid. As he stated in a recent interview:
“Most of me is excited and intrigued at the prospect of seeing my story reimagined or refracted on screen. But I’d be lying if I said I was egoless about the whole experience. This novel means a great deal to me. I lived inside the book for the year and a half I wrote it. Any story and character changes will be something I’ll have to deal with. A good problem to have, of course.”
Tremblay is clearly no fool, and he seems to know that Shyamalan is going to have his way with this psychological horror story. This isn’t to say that Knock at the Cabin doesn’t still have a chance to be an effective thriller, but those who were hoping for a faithful take on Tremblay’s novel should probably rein in their expectations. The movie hits theaters on Feb. 3, 2022; meanwhile you can check out the trailer below.