Night Shyamalan, known for his infamously thrilling, psychological films released his newest film ‘Knock at the Cabin’ on Friday, February 3rd. The film centers around a family with a young daughter, away on a quiet vacation to a cabin and its surrounding woods. During their stay, they are approached by a group of four strangers to take them into captivity, forcing them to choose between saving the world or saving each other. Although M. Night Shyamalan has had his experience with dark and mystifying films, this may be his most terrifying film yet. It strikes close to home on the theme of family, as well as the looming danger of an apocalypse. Let’s take a look at who M. Night Shyamalan is, what he’s known for, and the cast chosen to represent the crucial roles in this n
Night Shyamalan was born in August 1970, in India. He was raised in Penn Valley, Pennsylvania by his father and mother, who were both doctors. Although his parents wanted him to follow in their footsteps and pursue a medical profession, Shyamalan always wanted to be a filmmaker ever since he was given his first camera. Shyamalan wrote, produced, and directed his first film, ‘Praying with Anger’ in 1992, the beginning of his successful filmmaking career. Shyamalan attended NYU Tisch School of the Arts, in Manhattan, New York, graduating the same year his first film was released. Six years later, Shyamalan wrote and directed his second movie, ‘Wide Awake’, with his parents as the associate producers. Shyamalan married Bhavna Vaswani, a fellow student, and graduate of NYU; They were married the same year Shyamalan graduated from the university. Together they have three daughters, one is a notable musician, and the other is a film director. Shyamalan now lives with his family near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at Ravenwood, a 125-acre estate.
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Shyamalan has written, directed, produced, and even appeared on screen in many films over his career. Often, Shyamalan will appear as a side character in the films he produces, similar to the popular cameos of Stan Lee in Marvel films. In 1999, Shyamalan released his film ‘Sixth Sense’, as well as co-wrote the screenplay for the classic family movie, ‘Stuart Little’. Shyamalan’s movie ‘Unbreakable’ was released in 2000, and two years later one of his most popular films, ‘Signs’ was released, featuring a cast including Mel Gibson, Joaquin Pheonix, Rory Culkin, and Abigail Breslin. Next was his film ‘The Village’, followed shortly by ‘Lady in the Water’. In the next four years, Shyamalan produced ‘The Happening’ and ‘The Last Airbender’, although neither movie was an immense hit as his other films proved to be. In 2013, he directed ‘After Earth’, starring Will Smith and Jaden Smith. In 2015 he then wrote and directed ‘The Visit’ and in 2016 he produced ‘Split’. Most recently, in 2019 Shyamalan’s film ‘Glass’ was released, followed by ‘Old’, released in 2021. This leaves us in 2023, with the release of Shyamalan’s newest film, ‘Knock at the Cabin’.
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Movies by M. Night Shyamalan
Knowing what you now know about M. Night Shyamalan, you can gather that each of his films is not much like the other aside from the general theme of suspense. Every one of Shyamalan’s films has had its turn thrilling audiences around the world. Here are some of his most infamous films, their synopsis, and their cast. Starting in 1999, ‘Sixth Sense’ follows a young boy who speaks with the spirits and looks for help from a child psychologist. The cast features actors such as Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, and Olivia Williams. His next release, ‘Unbreakable’ is the story of one man’s self-discovery after suffering in a tragic accident. ‘Unbreakable’ features a cast including Bruce Willis once again, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright, Spencer Treat Clark, and Charlayne Woodard.
‘Signs’, released in 2002, follows a widowed pastor living with his kids on a Pennsylvanian farm when their crops are mysteriously marked with strange symbols. As mentioned before, the cast includes Mel Gibson, Joaquin Pheonix, Rory Culkin, and Abigail Breslin. Shyamalan’s ‘The Village’ follows an isolated community and the testing of their steadfast beliefs and doctrine. The cast includes Sigourney Weaver, William Hurt, Joaquin Pheonix once again, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Adrien Brody. ‘Lady in the Water’, released in 2006, features a cast consisting of Paul Giamatti, Bryce Dallas Howard once more, Jeffery Wright, and Bob Balaban. The plot follows an apartment building manager who rescues a woman from the apartment complex pool, only to discover that she’s a storybook character trying to return home.
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‘The Happening’ (2008) follows a man and his family attempting to survive a worldwide apocalypse that is centered around an infection that causes humans to commit suicide. The film stars Mark Wahlberg as Elliot Moore, the main character. In 2010, Shyamalan’s movie ‘The Last Airbender’ was released. The story follows Aang, a young Avatar who must control all four elements to stop the Fire Tribe from destroying the other nations. This film’s cast includes Noah Ringer as Aang, Nicola Peltz Beckham, and Jackson Rathbone. ‘After Earth’, starring Will Smith, follows a father and his son who crash on planet Earth. They must survive the environment and send a distress signal to their colony out in space. ‘The Visit’, released in 2015, follows the story of two siblings (played by Olivia DeJonge and Ed Oxenbould) who visit their grandparents’ house for vacation and are slowly alarmed by their grandparent’s odd behavior.
Shyamalan directed ‘Split’, which was released the year after ‘The Visit’, starring James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy. The plot follows three girls who are kidnapped by a man with 23 personalities and must make their escape before he develops a frightening 24th personality. Shyamalan’s 2019 film ‘Glass’ features a cast of actors who have been seen in many of his previous films; James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Spencer Treat Clark. ‘Glass’ acts as a sort of sequel to ‘Split’, following Kevin Wendell Crumb who has 24 personalities, and his incarceration at a mental hospital. Released in 2021, ‘Old’ is the story of a family on vacation who discover a beach on which they cannot escape and experience a phenomenon in which they all age at an accelerated rate. The cast includes Gael Garcia Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, and Alex Wolff. It’s evident that each of Shyamalan’s films are so diverse and unique from one another, proving the imaginative capabilities of their creator’s mind.
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The cast of ‘Knock at the Cabin’
Shyamalan’s newest film, ‘Knock on the Cabin’ has a great cast of actors who all join together to make the film a powerful story. Starting off strong, Dave Bautista is best known for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vo. 2’, ‘Blade Runner 2049’, and ‘Riddick’. Most recently Dave was seen in ‘Glass Onion’ and ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’. You can plan to see him in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’, premiering in 2023, as well as ‘Dune: Part Two’, also set to release in 2023. Next is Johnathan Groff, known for ‘Frozen’, ‘The Matrix Ressurections’, and ‘Hamilton’. He is probably best known for his role voicing the character Kristoff in ‘Frozen’ and ‘Frozen II’. Ben Aldridge is best known for his work on the TV series ‘Our Girl’, the series ‘Flea Bag’, and the movie ‘Toast’. Ben is also working on an upcoming film, ‘Tyger’ which is in its post-production stage. Last but not least, Rupert Grint is best known for his role as Ron Weasley in the ‘Harry Potter’ film series. He was also in the TV series ‘Servant’, which ran from 2019 to 2023.
The ladies in the cast are quite formidable in their talent and careers. Nikki Amuka-Bird is best known for her roles in the films ‘Jupiter Ascending’, ‘Coriolanous’, M. Night Shyamalan’s film ‘Old’, and ‘The Outfit’. Nikki was also cast for a TV series titled ‘Avenue 5’ which ran from 2020 to 2022. Abby Quinn is best known for ‘Landline’, a 2017 film, ‘Radium Girls’, released in 2018, and ‘After the Wedding’, released in 2019. She was also cast as Annie Moffat in ‘Little Women’, working alongside Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Laura Dern, and Timothee Chalamet. Finally, Kristen Cui, playing the young daughter of the family, Wen, is making her film premiere with ‘Knock at the Cabin’. Kristen’s previous experience is a small role in ‘CaliStar: Don’t Give Up’, a music video in 2022. Despite her lack of a portfolio, Kristen’s talent and enthusiasm shine through in her work, making her way in the entertainment industry and building her career for films to come.
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M. Night Shyamalan’s writing and directing talent, paired with the inspired cast of the film will surely make ‘Knock at the Cabin’ one of his greatest and most thrilling films yet. Whether you’re looking for suspense or perhaps the story of family bonds, ‘Knock at the Cabin’ is a must-watch for anyone who enjoys M. Night Shyamalan and his genius way with plot and story. ‘Knock at the Cabin’ is premiering on February 3rd, 2023. You can watch it in theaters on the day of its release or wait until it is available for streaming off of some of your favorite streaming services. You don’t want to miss a chance to answer the door.
By Finley Clough
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