A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The big question addressed is whether humanity is worth saving. Movie argues that while humans do terrible things and there are lies and deceptions and evil cults, there's also great beauty, great hope, and the power of love.
Positive Role Models
Eric and Andrew are examples of good parents -- at least for a little while, until their lives are interrupted.
Main characters are a White gay couple (Jonathan Groff and Ben Aldridge) who have a young adopted daughter (Chinese American actor Kristen Cui) with a facial difference (her scar suggests a repaired cleft lip). The four intruders are played by Dave Bautista (who's half Filipino), Nikki Amuka-Bird (who's Black), and Abby Quinn and Rupert Grint (who are White). TV news commentators include many characters of color and women. Director/co-writer Shyamalan, who appears in one of his usual cameos, is Indian American. Leonard (Bautista) counters stereotypes often associated with large, muscular people by turning out to be gentle, thoughtful, and compassionate.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
Killings and death. Blood seeps through white cloth. Bloody wounds. Character slits own neck, blood seeping through clothing. Guns and shooting. Menacing homemade weapons. Fighting, swinging weapons, punching. Character with bloody face. Character crashes to floor, has concussion. Hate crime: A man in a bar smashes a bottle over a gay man's head; bloody wounds. Person clubbed in knee. Man throws pebbles in woman's face. Scary news footage includes planes crashing, viruses, tsunami, flooding, etc. Building on fire. Dialogue: "My father used to beat the s--t out of me." Creepy, unsettling drawings during opening titles.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Several uses of "f--k" or "f---ing." Also "bulls--t," "horses--t," "bitch," "bastard," "ass," "goddamn," "oh Jesus God," "d--k," "crap."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
In flashback, characters have drinks in a bar (some have too many). A character says "I like beer."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Knock at the Cabin is a horror-thriller from director M. Night Shyamalan about two dads (Jonathan Groff and Ben Aldridge) and their young daughter (Kristen Cui) who are asked by four intruders to execute one member of their family in order to save humanity. Based on a novel by Paul Tremblay, it's a suspenseful, economical, and even intimate film that wrestles with the question of what aspects of humanity are actually worth saving. Violence is intense: There are killings, bloody wounds, blood seeping through clothing, guns and shooting, a character slicing their own neck, fighting, bludgeoning with weapons, a hate crime, terrifying news footage, a concussion, and more. Language includes "f--k" and "f---ing," "bulls--t," "bitch," "bastard," "ass," and "goddamn." A flashback takes place in a bar, with some drinking and drunkenness. Dave Bautista and Rupert Grint co-star. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
M. Night Shyamalan's horror-thriller makes terrific use of its intimate scale and level-headed approach, generating suspense through suggestion and surprising empathy for the characters. Shyamalan doesn't usually do adaptations, but here he lets Paul Tremblay's novel The Cabin at the End of the World do all the heavy lifting. As a result, Knock at the Cabin showcases the director's singular, spatial visual style without crumbling under the lackluster writing that sometimes sabotages his work. That said, the movie does lose some of its suspense as it ramps up and reveals more information in the final act. But Knock at the Cabin starts economically and emotionally and rarely falters. Bautista sets the tone with his Leonard character, countering stereotypes often associated with large, muscular people by turning out to be gentle, thoughtful, and compassionate (he seems genuinely hurt at the suggestion that he might be lying about this apocalyptic scenario). For all of the threat and death on the line, the characters' tense, back-and-forth conversations are mainly about love and hope. And the fight between the worst of humanity and the best of humanity keeps viewers constantly guessing.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.