Acclaimed filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan’s latest and most anticipated horror film “Knock at the Cabin” to open in local theaters on February 1 features an impressive cast of actors led by Dave Bautista along with Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge, Rupert Grint, newcomer Kristin Cui, Abby Quinn and Nikki Amuka-Bird.
“Knock at the Cabin” centers on a gay couple, Eric (Groff) and Andrew (Aldridge) and their adopted daughter Wen (Cui), who are vacationing at a remote cabin in the woods, when their house is surrounded by four armed strangers: Leonard (Bautista), Sabrina (Bird), Adrianne (Quinn) and Redmond (Grint.) Taken hostage, the family is informed that these four strangers—who also do not know each other—have all been haunted and tormented by a shared prophecy: that the world will end unless the family in this cabin chooses one member of the family to die.
Fil-Am actor and former wrestling champion, Bautista, also known for his roles in successive blockbuster films “Guardians of the Galaxy”, “Army of the Dead” and “Suicide Squad” takes on the role of Leonard in “Knock at the Cabin.” As Leonard and the designated leader of the group of four mysterious strangers, Bautista thinks that the role is an opportunity of a lifetime. “This is what I’ve been waiting for because roles like this don’t get offered to me. Typically, everybody wants me for action stuff, and I understand why they want to put me in that box. But I’ve been fighting to get out of that box. I wanted deeper roles because I want to prove myself as an actor,” enthuses Bautista. One of the main messages behind Knock at the Cabin is sacrifice and not putting a definition on what love looks like. “Love takes all kinds of shapes and forms and comes from places you wouldn’t expect,” Bautista further says. “I hate to be cliché, but it can save the world.”
The role of Leonard is complex and layered, according to director Shyamalan. “Leonard is like a giant who’s physically intimidating and has to do these horrific things, but is actually incredibly gentle, like a teacher,” Shyamalan says. “And Dave is this character. He is this childlike giant. He’s very smart and is incredibly analytical about human nature—almost like a child. He can panic in a way, like a child, in the most beautiful way. And I wanted all of that on screen.”
Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint continues to solidify his filmography in his latest role in the movie as Redmond. “There’s something quite seductive about apocalypse movies,” Grint says. “Rarely has been it explored in such a confined, remote, intimate setting, which. And my role as Redmond is a character who’s also kind of in reform. He’s got a shady past, and suddenly, he’s hit with this huge burden and decision to make. He’s very aggressive, and still has a lot of anger he’s struggling with .” Grint was also fascinated with the story because it taps into a lot of the topical fears that surround us right now. “We’re just coming out of a global pandemic,” Grint says. “There’s an environmental crisis in the world that has never felt more fragile. So that kind of impending fear of the demise of the planet is something that’s in a lot of people’s minds at the moment.”
Shyamalan is eager for audiences to see the depth and nuance of Grint’s performance. “Rupert is the rare actor that reinvented himself as an adult,” Shyamalan says. “He took all those child-actor experiences—didn’t eat himself up—and turned it into wonderful techniques and opportunities for his adult acting journey. I’m really excited for everybody to see what he’s capable of and to continue finding stories for him.”
A Universal Pictures International presentation, “Knock at the Cabin” opens February 1 in cinemas nationwide.