‘Knock At The Cabin’ Ending, Explained: Is The Apocalypse Real? Does The World Really Come To An End?

Don’t be confused; we’re not talking about the parody cult classic from 2011, “Cabin in the Woods.” Today, we’re talking about another cabin, which happens to be in the woods. Inspired by Paul G. Tremblay’s novel “The Cabin at the End of the World,” M. Night Shyamalan brings us an apocalyptic mystery movie that turns out to be quite dismal by the end of it. Spoiler alert: This one does not end with a big twist reveal, so do not disappoint yourself by going in with such expectations. The film is beautifully shot, with some really claustrophobic close-ups that make you feel like you’re in the difficult position of choosing if people deserve to live or die. It’s a movie about choices, exploring spirituality and good vs. bad, as Shyamalan has done previously with his work in the incredible “SIGNS.” “Knock at the Cabin” is a good movie but falls short with its storytelling by the end of it, skipping out on its potential to be excellent. A special shoutout to Dave Bautista’s incredible line delivery for giving this movie its intensity and terror.


Spoilers Ahead

‘Knock At The Cabin’ Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Film?

Wen is the adopted daughter of gay couple Andrew and Eric. The three of them decide to take a trip to a quiet cabin for a vacation, where things take the wrong turn. When Wen is outside catching some grasshoppers to study, a man named Leonard approaches her. Wen, who is initially afraid of him because of his appearance and the obvious “stranger danger” advice, soon begins to converse with Leonard. He helps Wen catch a grasshopper, making her trust him. Leonard then cryptically tells Wen that he and some of his associates are going to want to come into the cabin to talk to her and her parents and that she must tell her parents to let them in. Wen sees these “associates” with large weapons and runs back inside. She gets her dads inside the house, and they lock all the doors, even if they don’t believe her immediately. Then there’s a knock at the door, and Leonard begins to speak. Andrew and Eric refuse to open the doors, but unfortunately, the four intruders manage to break into the house. Inside, Eric, Andrew, and Wen are met with a choice: save humanity by choosing to kill one of the members of their family collectively or become the only survivors at the end of an apocalypse brought on by their own choice. What will they choose?


‘Knock At The Cabin’ Ending Explained – Is The Apocalypse Real, And Does The World Come To An End, Or Is A Sacrifice Made? 

“Knock at the Cabin” breaks away from the ambiguity of the book by telling us right from the get-go that the apocalypse is real. Yes, it is a bit confusing when all four intruders have watches that tell them exactly when a tsunami is going to hit or when the next plague will begin. With Andrew’s suspicion of them faking all the details, we are asked to believe the same too, but Shyamalan makes it quite clear that it is what it is, and the four home invaders are not, in fact, a religious cult on a suicide mission, but they truly have seen these horrific visions and are only here to save humanity. While Andrew goes through contemporary existentialism to prove to Eric that everything the four people are telling them is fake, Eric starts to believe them when he sees a “figure in the light” during the death of Redmond (quite early on in the film, sorry Ron Wesley fans!). Each of the intruders represents one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse as a reference from the “Book of Revelations.” While in the scripture, the four are conquest, war, famine, and death; our modern horsemen represent healing – Sabrina, guidance- Leonard, nurture- Adriane, and malice- Redmond. Modern-world problems have modern-world solutions, right?

Redmond is the first to go, his last words being “a part of humanity is judged” and then being struck to death in the head by the other three. Eric is heavily concussed because of a fight with Sabrina while they were trying to enter the house, so he believes the figure he sees in the light may not be real at first. When Redmond dies, the first apocalyptic event is a massive tsunami. Andrew believes this is all a hate crime against their queer family. He had previously been violently attacked at a bar, causing him to need therapy. Later, he realizes that the man who caused him such pain was, in fact, Redmond. This makes his suspicions even stronger. Adriane is the next one to go, and she tries to convince the family by talking about her own child. She’s a chef and loves to feed people—hence, nurture—but alas, she’s unable to save herself. Andrew believes the four are having a shared delusion, folie a deux style, and tries to convince Eric that the world is not going to end, that the plague triggered by Adriane’s death is already known about, and this is just stimulated news.


Wen tries to escape from the house through the basement, but Leonard manages to get her back. In the meanwhile, Eric has managed to untie his binding with the help of the knife Wen gave him after eating a meal prepared by Adriane. He signs for Wen to distract Leonard and gets out of his seat, with his feet still tied. At the same time, Andrew, who had already loosened up his ropes, manages to untie them and his feet to run out of the cabin to their car, where he had kept a gun ever since the incident at the bar. When he reaches the car, Sabrina tries to hurt him to make him stop doing what he’s doing and go back inside with her so that everything goes according to plan. Andrew manages to stick through and pull out his gun, shooting behind Sabrina and warning her to run away. She complies, and Andrew returns to the cabin, aiming at Leonard, who is in a fight with Eric. But Sabrina hasn’t run away; she returns from the other side of the cabin, only to be shot by Andrew out of fear. Her accidental death leads to a third plague: “the sky will fall to the earth like glass,” as Leonard would call it. Dozens of planes crash without reason, killing thousands of people across the globe.

Leonard urges them to be quick in making their decision because they will have mere minutes after his death to decide humanity’s fate. Then he goes on to say his last words- a part of humanity has been judged, slashing his throat (off-screen, of course, we can’t see Drax go down like that!) and sealing his fate. At this point, the impending apocalypse seems clearer to Eric, who now believes his sacrifice will save the world but also that he will be alright because the figure he saw in the light showed him his path. Andrew reluctantly agrees with Eric, realizing what this means for them. He tells him that the world that regards them as worthless and unacceptable does not deserve saving. Eric tells him that he sees Wen and Andrew being happy together in the future in a beautiful world. Wen will find true love just like her two dads. What would they do if there were only three of them left to wash away the sins of the world? Eric’s faith is what changes Andrew’s mind in the end, convincing him to shoot Eric. Eric leaves the cabin to go get Wen, who is hiding in the treehouse. She immediately asks him if Daddy Eric sacrificed himself for the good of humanity, and he breaks down. They leave the tree house and find Leonard’s truck, which has souvenirs (identity cards and photos) of each of the four intruders, proving to Andrew that they were, in fact, who they claimed to be and not putting up fake identities. Andrew and Wen head out of the woods in Leonard’s truck and find a diner nearby. There they realized it was all real, and that the terrible events stopped thanks to their sacrifice. They drive away from the diner with the song that they used to sing together playing on the radio, remembering that Eric is with them always.


“Knock at the Cabin” predicts the fate of our three protagonists right at the start when Wen keeps grasshoppers in her glass jar. Grasshoppers can take the leap of fate and escape the jar or remain trapped inside all by themselves. Shyamalan gives us a very personal ending to a thrilling film, wearing his heart on his sleeve, or should we say leaving it at the cabin?

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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika, or "Ru," is a fashion designer and stylist by day and a serial binge-watcher by night. She dabbles in writing when she has the chance and loves to entertain herself with reading, K-pop dancing, and the occasional hangout with friends.

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