Knock At The Cabin Ending Explained & Changes From The Book
We’re going to talk about Knock At The Cabin Ending Explanation, including some of the important plot details and general themes. We’ll also look at some of the significant differences between the movie and the original book. There will be spoilers for Knock At The Cabin.
The main characters in Knock At The Cabin are a family of three and a group of four strangers. The family consists of Eric and his husband, Andrew, and their adopted daughter, Wen. The four strangers are Leonard, a second-grade teacher and bartender, Redmond, a former convict, Adrian, A cook at a diner, and Sabrina, a nurse. Now let’s get into the Knock At The Cabin Ending Explanation.
Knock At The Cabin Explained
Eric, Andrew, and Wen are on a vacation at a secluded cabin deep in the woods where cell phone service is very poor. Leonard, Redmond, Adrian, and Sabrina show up at the cabin and force their way in, tying up Eric and Andrew. Aside from making their way into the cabin and doing what’s necessary to restrain Eric and Andrew and prevent them from leaving, a group of strangers are not hostile towards the family.
The Forest Rangers have been having visions of an apocalypse for the last week, in which the cities will drown, as the oceans rise, there will be a terrible plague pieces of the sky will fall in shattered glass and God’s fingers will scorch the earth. These visions all show similar locations and events, causing the strangers to draw them on any paper they can find school exams, menus, and newspapers, many of which are shown during the opening credits sequence of the movie.
The visions tell the strangers that the only way to prevent the apocalypse is to go to this specific cabin in the woods and instruct the family inside to select one of their family members as of willing sacrifice, and the family must kill that person. If they refuse, everyone on Earth will die, leaving only the family to wander alone on what remains of a devastated planet.
Chose Your Family Or Humanity
At first, the family doesn’t believe the strangers and refuses to cooperate. This prompts Redmond to cover his face with a white cloth mask as the other three strangers kill him. After this, the strangers claimed that a portion of humanity has now been judged.
Turning on the TV to a new channel showcases that an earthquake hit approximately 4 hours ago and the following tsunami has caused damage but minimal casualties. However, they continue to watch as a second earthquake, magnitude 8.6 hits, causing a second tsunami that washes away some coastal cities killing millions.
Oddly enough, it shows what looks almost identical to the recent Tonga underwater Volcano eruption, but whatever works. Eric and Andrew still don’t believe the strangers, although Eric is clearly starting to have his doubts. The strangers tell the family if they can rest until dawn when they’ll be asked to make a sacrifice again.
The next morning, Adrian makes breakfast for Wen, but Wen manages to sneak her knife breakfast over to Eric so he can cut the ropes binding him. The plan is for Wen to cause a distraction while Eric frees himself, then for Andrew to make a break for their car where he has a gun.
Before this happens, Leonard once again asks the family to make a sacrifice. They decline, which prompts Adrian to be killed by Leonard and Sabrina, once again judging a portion of humanity. This time, the news shows an X9 virus that is devastating children across the globe.
This pushes Eric to down a bit more, but Andrew insists it’s a closed network broadcast for some other trick, claiming the X9 virus is not new, mimicking the early days of COVID when people thought the problem was relatively contained in China.
Knock At The Cabin Ending
To make Eric trust the strangers even less, Andrew claims Redmond is the same person who assaulted him in a bar years ago, which is why he went to prison, and that his name isn’t actually Redmond, but O’Bannon. This is true, but it doesn’t change the vision the strangers press on with their mission.
Wen causes her distraction and everything goes according to plan, Sabrina ends up getting shot by Andrew. Then Leonard performs the ritual on Sabrina even though she was already dead. And the news calls out that over 700 planes have randomly fallen out of the sky, killing thousands.
At this point, Eric is basically convinced everything is real, even thinking he saw a figure when each of the strangers died. Andrew then locks Leonard in the bathroom, but Leonard coaxes Andrew into opening the door, and after a struggle, he’s able to get the gun away from Andrew.
Leonard asked them once more if they’ll sacrifice to save humanity. When they refuse, Leonard tells them to only have a few minutes to perform the sacrifice if they still want to save humanity, then he kills himself.
Once Leonard is dead, dark clouds form and lightning starts striking all over the place, starting fires. At this point, Eric finally tells Andrew that he believes and offers himself as a sacrifice. Eric and Andrew bicker about who should die, but in the end, Andrew shoots Eric, stopping the apocalypse.
Knock At The Cabin Ending Explained
So now let’s take a look at what all of this means. First off, the four strangers are essentially the four horsemen of the Apocalypse who are given visions so strong and so similar that they go online to discuss if they’re crazy or not and end up finding each other.
The vision starts to become reality as they build their makeshift weapons and eventually meet up and make their way to the cabin, seeing a number of things that they saw in their visions. This makes them believe the visions are real and that they must do this to the family at the cabin to stop the apocalypse.
Christianity claims of the four horsemen are a vision of harbingers of the last judgment before the end time. In the movie, The Horsemen are malice, nurturing, healing, and guidance.
The Final Judgment And The Family
Most consider the final judgment tied to the second coming of Christ, who would judge all of humanity. Just as the strangers claimed as they each sacrificed themselves.
It’s hinted in the film that this is not the first time these events have happened. That perhaps families throughout time have been given this choice. This specific family was chosen because of their unshakable love through various hate crimes against the gay couple to an adopted daughter that had a slight birth defect and a cleft lip.
While they are not pure, they are a near-perfect balance of happiness and love, despite all the trials they’ve been put through. Therefore, they’ve been selected to determine if humanity should live or die, potentially sacrificing their own love to save humanity.
Depending on your religious beliefs or your interpretation of religion, either God or the devil is at work here, or possibly both. Generally speaking, but more so in modern times, humans are not good people. Final judgment usually depicts everyone who has ever lived being judged, with only a select few being saved.
Knock At The Cabin takes his belief and runs with it, claiming that the horsemen have come to each of these four strangers and then made the journey to the cabin to allow the family to judge in God’s absence. Every time the family refuses, one of the horsemen is sacrificed and a portion of humanity is immediately judged.
The figure of life that Eric sees with every sacrifice could be seen as God or some representative of God. However, it’s more likely to be the horsemen being released to pass judgment in God’s absence, a warning of the coming of the Apocalypse.
Once Eric has clarity at the end of the Knock At The Cabin, he sees a vision of the future. When he’s grown up and spending time with Andrew, they’re happy as Wen has lived a full life and is doing what she loves, healing animals. We can assume she’s a veterinarian of some sort or simply studies animals as a biologist or similar profession.
Andrew was always afraid of what could happen and a fighter for the family. He was the protector while Eric was a hope and offered a pure take on any situation. This is seen in the various flashbacks throughout the film. This is why Eric was able to see the future once he understood what had to be done. It was a vision shown to him, just like the apocalyptic vision shown to the forest Rangers.
Looking at the prophecy that was shown to the strangers, first the cities will drown as the oceans rise, which was a tsunami. Then there will be a terrible plague in which mucus will fill people’s lungs, which was the X9 virus breakout. Then pieces of the sky will fall like shattered glass, which was the planes falling out of the sky. And finally, God’s fingers will scorch the earth, which was a record number of lightning strikes, setting fires and destroying cities.
It’s also interesting to note that while the family was set to survive, it was not a guarantee. Just before Leonard took his own life, Andrew sent Wen off to a nearby tree house so she didn’t have to watch. Andrew told her that she wouldn’t die and that nothing would happen to her.
In response to this, Leonard, a second-grade teacher, told Andrew to be careful what you tell children because they’re very trusting and believe everything. This implies that the family was not actually safe, simply that they wouldn’t be directly targeted by God’s judgment. The Lightning that follows Leonards’s demise sets the cabin on fire, completely destroying it. Had the family been inside, they would have likely died and this is what Leonard was hinting at.
Meaning Behind The Release Date
Now in this Knock At The Cabin Ending Explanation, I want to point out the importance of the release date of this film and how it might impact this film’s themes. Now as you all know, this film was released on Friday which is February 3rd, 2023. 23 is a number that represents change, progress, and innovation.
In terms of numerology, the number 23 signifies new beginnings, revolution, and transformation. These number patterns hold a lot of positive energy and signify spiritual growth, which again to me is a very big theme of this film.
You may wonder, well, where’s the big M. Night twist? I think this film didn’t necessarily rely on twists. Yes, there were some reveals, but it wasn’t that stereotypical, someone was dead the whole time type of thing going on. And also I thought the trailer really did sell us what we got. It was pretty straightforward.
But we also know this was based on a novel and I think this might be where the twist might come in because M. Night has definitely made changes to what happened in the book versus what happens in the film. So now we are going to talk about what Knock At The Cabin movie changed from the book.
Knock At The Cabin Ending In The Book
There are also some interesting changes from the book to the film. During the second morning, Andrew escapes and gets his gun before it’s Adrian’s turn to be sacrificed instead of after like in the movie. This results in Andrew killing Adrian instead of Sabrina, and during the struggle with Leonard over the gun Wen is accidentally shot and killed, a major change from Wen surviving in the fell.
Leonard is devastated and allows himself to be tied up by Andrew and Eric, but claims to sacrifice still has to be made since Wen’s death was not voluntary. This is when Eric starts to wonder if this is all real and actually has visions of flies that lead him to turn on the TV where he sees a breakout of the bird flu.
Sabrina says she wants to abandon their mission and ends up killing Leonard, then leaves Eric and Andrew in Redmond’s car before committing suicide herself. It’s here that we get the biggest change, which is that Eric and Andrew refused to obey a God that does not accept that as enough.
Instead of Andrew killing Eric, they decide to stay together through whatever happens next. This is where the book ends, leaving an ambiguity as to whether or not an apocalypse actually happens. There were no direct signs of the apocalypse like in the movie, so it leaves things open as to whether or not it was a closed-circuit TV playing recorded news footage instead of a live broadcast showing the end of the world.
Many readers of the book thought the ambiguous ending was a disappointment, which may be why M. Night decided to change it to a more definitive ending.
So what did you think of Knock At The Cabin Ending? Did you believe the supernatural elements right from the start, or did it take a few judgments before you believed? Do you like the changes the movie made or would you prefer the open ending of the book?
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