Knock At The Cabin (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Its nice that M. Night Shyamalan has found some footing again in being a solid filmmakers. While he’s not getting a hit every time out, the output is rather rock solid and of legit public interest. There was a a time when his name popping up in a trailer would yield audible groans from an audience. But since The Visit, he’s been a pretty dependable genre filmmaker. This time, he’s here with the apocalyptic drama Knock At The Cabin. The film was a mild success this past February and wound up hitting Peacock early. Now you’ll be able to own a pristine 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray copy of it, complete with Atmos sound and some fun featurettes. The release date is May 9th, and you can pre-order yourself a copy from the paid Amazon Associates link below.


KNOCK AT THE CABIN is a thriller about a tight-knit family who are taken hostage by four armed strangers while vacationing at a remote cabin. The visitors, led by Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, Dune), demand that the young girl and her parents make an unthinkable choice: to save their family or save humanity.

No matter whether you like or don’t like an M. Night Shyamalan film, there’s no denying he’s fearless in terms of swinging big, producing and exploring huge ideas and concepts and doing so in a smaller scale frame. Where things hit or miss is sometimes in his executions of said concepts and/or their resolutions. In fact, he’s probably one of the best pitch men we’ve ever had in the business as just on paper, every one of his thrillers is intriguing and of the “tell me more” or “I want to see how this turns out” variety. Knock At The Cabin, in my eyes, is one where he completes the full lap around the bases for an idea and moments that’ll have you thinking past the credits rolling and days after you’ve finished.

The biggest assist in this, may be one of the best actors to recite his material he’s ever worked with in that of Dave Bautista. The two seem to gel and have a real chemistry for the story and people populating it. Without him in such commitment to this role, I’m not sure the story would be sold properly. Its a testament to what a performer he’s become, but its a very small group of people who would possibly be able to pull this role off. Without him, this movie might be a laughing stock like other high concept Shyamalan flicks where a star can’t really convincingly sell the material (think The Happening). Bautista’s conviction to the role is the whole movie, a reason to recommend it, and also why we buy the material and think about it long after. This guy continues to wow and has proven a perfect pairing for Shyamalan’s pen. Here’s hoping they work again.

And its not like anyone else is slouching here. Its just, the important role here captivates and commands as it should. Jonathan Groff, Rupert Grint, Nikki Amuka-Bird and even little Kristen Cui help sell the feature and provide some good, compassionate turns. This is a twisted movie that challenges you on your belief as to what is going on here. Its one of Shyamalan’s most powerful concepts and this ensemble he’s put together not only pulls it off, it proves to be one of the director’s, who has worked with major stars, strongest.

Unlike over a decade ago, one actually anticipates Shyamalan’s work again. And if they don’t deliver, maybe they will next time. Its quite a career recovery he’s had in the time since The Visit. Knock At The Cabin is one of his strongest outputs regardless of era and one of the better wide release movies of the year.


Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are provided by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, not the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-100

Clarity/Detail Knock At The Cabin smashes through the door with a pretty fine looking image. Its a bold, crisp picture, with strong colors, a sharp look and plenty of radiant fine details coming through.

Depth: Depth of field is very strong here and the small cabin plays plenty big and sizable in the frame, giving off plenty of space. Movements are smooth and natural with no issues occurring from faster action or camera movements causing jitter or blur.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and natural and really a rock star of this image. Shadowing is excellent and the mood and lighting schemes here are top notch. Information like texture, patterns and the like against dark surfaces hold strong. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors for the most part carry a more rustic and natural look. Greens, browns and such are bold and strong in the picture. Some fabrics and the like contrast and pop pretty good here. There’s not a lot for the HDR glow to catch hold but it certainly assists in good contrast and saturation to bring out other colors and shades.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish. Facial features and textures like wrinkles, stubble, moles, freckles, sweat beads and more are clear as day from any given distance in the frame.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.


Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics: Knock At The Cabin is a loud, effective and engaging knock on said cabin in this terrific Atmos mix. This is a very well rounded mix, with great balance and effective depth and layering throughout. You feel as if you are in a heightened experience of being present and its some of the best you can expect. Its incredible how this 7 people in a cabin and talking picture feels more eventful, thunderous and big than the tentpole fantasy superhero spectacle that is Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania that I reviewed before this one, but that’s just how underwhelming a Disney Atmos is. Take it from from Knock At The Cabin – “THIS is the way”.

Height: From above you get plenty of natural sounds that feel right with what is on screen as well as ambiance and score touches.

Low Frequency Extension: This subwoofer strikes pretty hard. There are scoring jumps but also slams, smashes and attacks forcing themselves to rumble and little natural things that have an extra oompf to them.

Surround Sound Presentation:  The mix clearly knows the room, on screen and off. Its a fun mix with some really good, powering rolling sound as well as some nice surprises from the rear or side channels in different moments.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear, crisp and really well recorded and presented here with great vibrative detail.


Knock At The Cabin comes with the standard Blu-ray edition and a redeemable digital code.

Deleted Scenes (4K, 5:35)

Chowblaster Infomercial – Extended (4K, 1:10) – The infomercial in the film that features Shyamalan’s cameo.

Choosing Wisely: Behind the Scenes of Knock at the Cabin (4K, 23:37) – This is a pretty deep look at the film from the conception through casting, production and more. The whole cast and crew pitch in and this whole thing makes the best and most educational use of its time.

Tools of the Apocalypse (4K, 5:03) – A featurette that takes a look at the tools in the film with Shyamalan’s insight.

Drawing a Picture (4K 3:36) – A piece on Shyamalan’s approach to storyboarding.

Kristen Cui Shines a Light (4K, 3:46) – This is a featurette on working with a child actor and her contributions to the film and the attitude on set.


With time, I’m certain Knock At The Cabin will prove to be more interesting films of his career. Nonetheless, its a rock solid high concept, small scale thriller with an incredible lead performance from Dave Bautista. Universal’s 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray release of it features a top notch presentation and a small but rather worthy set of extras. Knock At The Cabin is definitely a pick up, but you may want to hold of for a sale for a little lower price.

This is a paid Amazon Associates link


Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com). He is also the Moderator/MC of the Live Podcast Stage and on the Podcast Awards Committee for PopCon (popcon.us). In the past 10 years at Why So Blu, Brandon has amassed over 1,500 reviews of 4K, Blu-ray and DVD titles.

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