Knock At The Cabin: Is the Movie Inspired by True Horror Events?

Helmed by the acclaimed M. Night Shyamalan, ‘Knock At The Cabin’ is a refreshing psychological horror film that zooms in on a rather uncanny incident that occurs when a gay couple is on vacation with their adopted daughter. What started as a getaway at a remote cabin in the woods becomes a life-threatening crisis when four strangers knock on their door. They are armed with weapons and demand a human sacrifice to stop an apocalypse. If this erratic story kept you on the edge of your seat, you must wonder if there were any elements of realism to it. So, here are all the details for your inquisitive mind!

Knock At The Cabin is Loosely Based on Paul Tremblay’s Novel

No, ‘Knock At The Cabin’ is not a true story. It is loosely based on Paul Tremblay’s novel titled, ‘The Cabin At The End Of The World’ and adapted for the screen by Shyamalan, Steve Desmond, and Michael Sherman. The author did partake in the writing process by guiding Shyamalan and providing insights about the story. In an interview, he opened up about the process and said, “Much later, when we were introduced via phone, Night and I discussed the book, and I answered a bunch of his questions about character and story, about why I did what I did. I can’t speak to his screenwriting process.”

Paul added, “I did get to visit the set and watch him and the crew work for two days. I came away impressed with the positive, creative atmosphere he engendered.” He commended the actors for fully engaging themselves in their respective roles. They asked him questions about the character and situation in the book for better enactment. Paul also spoke about he felt as an author about his book getting adapted into a movie. He remarked, “Most of me is excited and intrigued at the prospect of seeing my story reimagined or refracted on screen. But I’d be lying if I said I was egoless about the whole experience.”

He added, “This novel means a great deal to me. I lived inside the book for a year and a half I wrote it. Any story and character changes will be something I’ll have to deal with. A good problem to have, of course.” ‘Knock At The Cabin’ is an emotionally grounded recreation of the home invasion genre blended with thrilling elements of apocalypse and human sacrifice. The invaders claim to have visions about impending doom that can only be avoided if the family willingly sacrifices one of their own. As fictional as it sounds, there have unfortunately been several historical events that revolve around similar themes.

As per reports, more than 25 cultures sacrificed humans for rituals between the prehistoric era to the 21st century. In Peru, archaeologists discovered the bodies of 140 children and 200 young llamas sacrificed in a ritual around 1450 AD. After analyzing the soil, researchers found that a climate change event that might have led to flooding was likely the reason behind this grotesque act. Reports also suggest that a mass child sacrifice of 42 children was made in Mexico City during the Aztec era. Both incidents have one thing in common, i.e., pleasing an omnipotent god for the prosperity of their current world.

However, there are several modern-day examples of doomsday cults that self-sabotaged and took their own lives in hopes of escaping the apocalypse and entering heaven. For instance, Apocalypticism is a religious belief where people believe they are living in the last days of Earth. A Texas native named David Koresh claimed to receive revelations from God and declared himself their Prophet. Under his rule, about 80 people reportedly died on April 19, 1993, when a fire spread through their headquarters at Mount Carmel Center near Waco, Texas compound during a 51-day standoff with the FBI.

Heaven’s Gate is another cult that claimed to anticipate the end of the world and believed in UFOs. They had outlandish yet firm beliefs, which led to the death of 39 members who took their lives under the leadership of Marshall Applewhite. In the same way, Shoko Asahara founded Aum Shinrikyo in Japan, a religious movement that prophesized Armageddon. He orchestrated a nerve gas attack in a Tokyo Subway that killed around 12 people and injured thousands of individuals.

Even though the Shyamalan directorial is categorized as horror, the frightening aspects aren’t jump scares or paranormal entities but rather the beliefs that humans withhold. This idea is reinforced in the movie, and David Bautista briefly addressed the same in an interview he gave to The Hollywood Reporter in January 2023. He said, “I never really considered this a horror movie. It felt like an emotional roller coaster to me.”

However, knowing Shyamalan, who is considered a master of misguidance and twists in this genre, one can expect the story to deviate from the source material and take a new turn. In conclusion, we infer that ‘Knock at the Cabin’ is inspired by a fictional body of work that reflects some elements of the human psyche and our collective consciousness, which are beyond bizarre.

Read More: Where Was Knock At The Cabin Filmed?