‘Knock At The Cabin’ Characters And Themes, Explained: Why Are The Four Characters Chosen For Sacrifice?

From having multiple personalities in “Split” to ominously being “Old,” M. Night Shyamalan’s films have always played with our minds with their twists, which may not always have been agreeable. Yet in his most recent work, “Knock at the Cabin,” we don’t really get that M. Night twist aspect, which is pretty admirable because this time Shyamalan did something simpler to adapt a pre-existing fictional text, “The Cabin at the End of the World” by Paul G. Tremblay. So far, “Knock at the Cabin” has been a nice little surprise, thanks to Dave Bautista and his outstanding performance. In addition to him, the other characters were intriguing and worth discussing, in particular, the mythology associated with them.


“Knock at the Cabin,” tells the story of a gay couple who come to spend some time away from the city in a cabin in the midst of the woods, but four strangers knock on their door. These four intruders claim that the end of the world is just around the corner and that only the sacrifice of one of this chose family can prevent it. The couple’s very natural disbelief in them causes the strangers to kill one another one at a time, which gives the film a very foreboding, frightening tone. We become wary of these four strangers throughout the entire movie since their backstory is never revealed. We wonder how they came to have the vision and why they had that strong belief that the world would come to an end. As they started killing each other, earthquakes and disease outbreaks started to be reported on TV, leading us to believe that these four are divine beings connected to the apocalypse.

Spoilers Ahead


Leonard, Sabrina, Adriane, And Redmond: Why Are These Four Chosen For Sacrifice?

Wen, the adopted daughter of Andrew and Eric, initially encounters Leonard, a big man who seems amicable with kids, but Wen is terrified by the frightening weapons Leonard and his other companions are carrying. The four of them break into the couple’s cabin and make feeble attempts to convince them that the world is ending. These intruders appear to be composed and impassioned as if they are aware that they are about to provide an explanation that no one would want to accept. We can see that they don’t want to confine the couple or even harm them; rather, they want to reach a peaceful resolution because Andrew and Eric are the ones who have been chosen to save the world.

As Andrew, Eric, and Wen had every right to know who they truly were, they each introduced themselves to the family. Leonard was a dedicated teacher who adored kids with a pure heart. He was a teacher capable of directing the kids in the right direction. He prioritized the child’s compassion and inquisitiveness. Knowing that kids tend to believe everything, he felt it was his responsibility to raise them in a way that would enable them to discriminate between right and wrong. Leonard painstakingly sought to persuade Andrew and Eric, who were dubious about these four and the significance of this sacrifice. Also, it seems that in his interactions with Wen, despite his huge appearance, Leonard has a heart like a child. Adriane, who was a line cook not only for the job but also because she enjoyed feeding people, was chosen as the symbol of nurturing because of her caring and compassionate mind. We perceive Sabrina, a post-operative nurse for five years, as a symbol of healing. She was considerate of other people. She appears to be really upset as a result of Eric’s concussion, which implies that caring wasn’t just her occupation but that her genuine intention was to heal people’s wounds. Lastly, Malice is represented by Redmond, a gas company employee who had a troubled past and made a juvenile mistake that nearly made him a criminal. Redmond was chosen for this sacrifice even though his life had been marked by injustice and violence. He was chosen because, at the end of the day, like the other three, he also wanted to protect humanity.


What Is The Difference Between The Mythological Quartet And The One Depicted In The Film?

According to the Book of Revelation, the four horsemen of the Apocalypse were the White Rider, or the Conquest or Pestilence; the Red Rider, or War; the Black Rider, or Famine; and the Pale Rider, or Death. The horsemen, their names, and the color that symbolizes them, however, are subject to several interpretations. Conquest and War are sometimes referred to as the same thing in different texts, and Pestilence and Famine are also equated in other sources. So, providing a proper mythological explanation, in this case, is difficult. Yet in Shyamalan’s “Knock at the Cabin,” Sabrina may have stood in for both the Pestilence and death because she was a nurse who treated patients, and after her death, the devil rose when planes started crashing onto the ground, killing a lot of people.

Again, since Adriane was a cook who provided food for others and the disease outbreak started soon after her passing, we might infer that she represents Pestilence as well as Famine. Redmond’s appearance was evident because he was dressed in red, and his aggressive demeanor toward the couple at the pub indicated that he had a combative mentality. The ultimate destruction had already started after Leonard’s death; thus, we can conclude that he was the Pale Rider, the bringer of death. Moreover, he might represent the conqueror who overcame the couple in an effort to convey the significance of their sacrifice. So, it may be claimed that these four characters cannot be adequately described by the exact mythological concept of “The Four Horsemen.” Therefore, we might wonder who that figure was that Eric kept mentioning. After Eric’s head injury, he noticed a figure in the light as Redmond was committing suicide. We can say that the figure was the unfathomably detailed fifth horseman of the apocalypse, who often represents fear. As Eric was afraid and doomed to be the chosen one to sacrifice, he observed the mystic figure in the light.


Does The Grasshopper Scene Merely Represent A Childish Act?

The movie’s opening scene featured Wen grabbing grasshoppers as a representation of how God operates in the human world. Wen was seen putting the grasshoppers in a jar, just as God had bound us in the conviction that His judgment determines both our life and death. Humans have no power and no free choice in the presence of God’s will, as is depicted in a lovely way by Wen catching the grasshoppers in a jar and making sure that they won’t fly away.

The entire time, Andrew and Eric wondered why their family had been chosen to make the ultimate sacrifice. By the end of “Knock at the Cabin,” it becomes clear why they were chosen. We observed how their decisions were the foundation of their family. Even so, it was their decision to rely on falsehood in order to adopt a kid. Just as they chose to create their own loving and caring little universe, it was their choice to save the greater world that also co-exists with them. In a world filled with prejudice where this couple may have been judged for their unconventional love, it becomes their ultimate decision whether they will treat humanity similarly to how they have been treated or whether they will prove themselves better by choosing to sacrifice their bond for the greater good. These four may have experienced the same internal conflict and epiphany as Eric did at the conclusion of the movie, which prompted them to accept the sacrifice. Eric consequently forced Andrew to kill him because he knew that only true sacrifice was the path to salvation.


“Knock at the Cabin” has two possible interpretations: Either the horsemen contacted the couple and gave them the option to act in the interests of the greater good, or this was all a scheme by a group of homophobic, suicidal cult members. The film’s plot continues to instill suspense through Redmond’s past and his homophobic encounter with the couple at the bar, which somehow lets us think otherwise. Although Shyamalan provided every possible explanation for everything throughout the film, I like that there is still a perplexing hint at the conclusion that, even after believing the four of them for a while, the ultimate equation may not match, and you may conclude that the apocalypse was merely a pre-planned strategy against the gay couple. So what had really caused Eric to pass away? the sacrifice for saving the world or a group of psychotic homophobes led by Redmond? This question will nag at the back of your mind even after “Knock at the Cabin” is over.

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Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda hails from a medical background, yet her journey is to cross the boundaries of medicine and survive in the cinematic world. The surrealistic beauty of cinema and art has attracted her from a very young age. She loves to write poems, songs, and stories, but her dream is to write films someday. She has also worked as a painter, but nothing attracts her more than cinema. Through her writings, she wants to explore the world of cinema more and more and take her readers on the same ride.

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