Knock at the Cabin

Eric and Andrew are the two happy dads of little Wen, insightful far beyond her tender age. Tired of suffering acts of homophobic bigotry, they retreat to a cottage in the woods to enjoy some peace. One day four strangers, led by the gigantic Leonard, knock on their door. Their intentions seem bellicose but their actions are contradictory, until Leonard reveals the reason for their visit: Eric and Andrew have to make a painful and unsustainable choice, without which the world is bound to end.
After the Blumhouse contaminations of Split and the TV series Servant, it is as if M. Night Shyamalan’s story-telling ability had further refined: to the neo-Hitchcockian pattern of the beginnings, with that unique ability to upset the viewer’s beliefs, a surreal touch that allows you to suspend disbelief even in the face of the most absurd contexts.For the average viewer of 2023 it is difficult to metabolize the idea of an imminent apocalypse and totally disregard the scientific or even pseudo-scientific plausibility of the events and Shyamalan works exactly on this. Both the four of Leonard’s gang and the three victims are united by an existential medietas permeated with pop culture: the films or cartoons seen, the small daily habits are now Linus’ blanket of man, unable to see the commodification and commercial nature entirely because it needs first of all security.
The emotional vulnerability of today’s humanity, Shyamalan seems to tell us, clouds its ability to clearly see the contours of what is real and what is figment of our imagination. Remaining in the biblical sphere – the Apocalypse of John is at the basis of the subject – it seems the concretization of what Paul explained in the famous passage of 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13 regarding the vision of God and of the Truth: “Now let us see as in a mirror, dimly; but then we will see face to face.”
Shyamalan’s cinema has always revolved around the need to test our faith, in the most extreme situations. To understand whether what is happening to them is actually a hoax, the creed of a fanatical sect, or an act of violence, Eric and Andrew have to believe. Just a gay couple, tormented for a lifetime by the consequences of prejudice, has the impossible task of giving up the assumptions made and questioning a worldview that appears all too clear and aware of being right. Similarly, the human species, disoriented by too many lies, now practices a frenzied debunking to reveal the nature of conspiracies or fake news and closes the door to metaphysical revelation, intangible and impossible to demonstrate scientifically.

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