After seven weeks as the top film in theaters, “Avatar: The Way of Water” was finally knocked out of the No. 1 spot by the thriller “Knock at the Cabin”.
A family vacation is interrupted by four strangers, each armed with an elaborate, medieval-looking weapon. The four demand entry into the rustic holiday home of Eric (Jonathan Groff), Andrew (Ben Aldridge) and their adopted daughter Wen (Kristen Cui). Having clocked the machetes and scythes, Eric and Andrew resist. But since one of the strangers is played by human battering ram Dave Bautista, it’s only a matter of time before they gain entry. And so the director sets the scene for a home invasion thriller with a difference: Eric, Andrew and Wen must, they are told, sacrifice one member of their small family in order to save the rest of humanity.
“Knock at the Cabin” is an adaptation—or rather an extreme transformation—of the novel “The Cabin at the End of the World,” by Paul Tremblay. The setup and the characters are essentially the same, as are the themes of faith versus reason, resistance versus compromise. But the action itself, once the quartet penetrates the cabin, is drastically different. The film’s attitude toward resistance and moral responsibility, is altogether different from the book, in ways that conflate the intruders’ metaphysical and temporal power.