Himika Akram reporter
While she was chasing grasshoppers in the woods, little Wen (Kristen Cui) met a large man gave her a flower. His enormous hands are covered with tattoos and his demeanor was gentle yet scary. His name is Leonard (Dave Bautista). Leonard soon befriends Wen and came up with a proposal, Wen must let him and his friends let in the rustic cabin where Wen and her adoptive parents Eric and Andrew (Jonathan Groff and Ben Aldridge) are vacationing. If they don’t let them enter into the house, Leonard told Wen, they have to force themselves in.
Wen rushed to her dads to warn them and both of them ignored her, assuming it was her imagination. The family of 3 people were attacked and trapped by a group of fanatic people along with Leonard who have an apocalyptic, nightmarish vision of the world which is coming to an end because of plague, darkness and illness. Even though showed up in a very aggressive manner, they showed their apologetic and polite side and they put forward a fierce proposition; somebody from that family has to die voluntarily. Because of the vision Leonard and his group had, the rules do not permit them to do so. After that Leonard substantiates his proposition by a cruel, lengthy seminar and occasional news clips, trying to convince them. If they do not choose to make this sacrifice, the doomsday is imminent.
Leonard also made it a point, unless a decision is made, nobody is allowed to leave the premise. And if a decision is not made, the group is pretty convinced that the world is going end. Every time the family refuses, Leonard kills somebody from their own group, but those are just useless death as their death cannot save the world. It has to be a family from outside.
This movie is the film adaptation of the 2018 horror novel and bestseller ‘The Cabin at the End of The World’ by Paul Trembley. For the first two-thirds of the movie, the director tried to keep the storyline close to the book as much as possible, but then he chose to take the creative route in the final act of the movie which was very much different than the novel.
I had high expectations from M. Night Shyamalan because of his past release ‘The Sixth Sense,’ but this movie, with a great starting and nerve-jangling carry-forward, could not hang together. An actor like Dave Bautista had so much more to give. This movie looked like it did not do justice to his potential. When Leonard explains his vision to the family, that is when the story loses its horror movie feel.
Shyamalan has a very deep thought behind every story; he just does not entertain, rather opens a gateway of thought which would have stayed unexplored otherwise. It seems that is the purpose of this story as well; to put ourselves into a hypothetical situation and ask, if something like this happened in our lives and we were to choose one person from our nearest and dearest ones to sacrifice to save the humankind, would we do so?
This movie failed to create the tension that we would like to see in a thriller or horror film. It is a straight-line story which has no twist or turns. The doomsday angle failed to create any shock for the audience or to convince them. It gives a new standpoint, but in a monotonous way. The only thing I liked the most, unlike the book, this movie gave a more definitive ending. My personal rating for this movie would be 5.5/10.