​​​​M. Night Shyamalan wants you to watch Knock at the Cabin in a theater, not on your iPad

Knock at the Cabin
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Knock at the Cabin, M. Night Shyamalan's upcoming film, sees a family's vacation turn into a nightmare when their stay at a remote cabin is interrupted by a menacing group of strangers, who believe that the only way to save the world from apocalypse is if one member of the family sacrifices their life. 

The film will be a theatrical exclusive; Shyamalan is a keen advocate for the cinema viewing experience. His last film Old suffered from pandemic delays and disappointing box office, but he insists that Knock at the Cabin is a piece best enjoyed in the company of fellow cinema-goers. 

"Let me be super-clear, audiences are dying to come to movie theatres to see great movies," he says in the upcoming issue of SFX magazine, which features Star Trek: Picard on the cover. "That's all there is to it. If you released Home Alone today, it would still be a gigantic hit. If you released Back To The Future today, it'd be gigantic. And I think the industry is starting to see this, after getting distracted by the streamers and the pandemic. There's nothing like it – a bunch of 500 strangers coming together to watch a story together, to not multitask and commit themselves. It's just a deeper experience."

Ben Aldridge, who plays one of the family's fathers, echoes this sentiment. "This is an extremely thought-provoking popcorn film, and I don't think you get many of them," he says. "When I watched it I thought this is a blockbuster, but it's also asking deep and terrifying questions about truth versus belief. Does believing in something make it real? It's about the state of world politics, the far-right and conspiracy groups, and the fact that none of us believes the same things. I think it plays upon all those things."

Shyamalan sums it up: "Do I want you watching Knock at the Cabin on a treadmill with your iPad? No, I don't."

Knock at the Cabin releases in cinemas this February 3. That's just a snippet of our interview, available in the latest issue of SFX Magazine (opens in new tab), available on January 25! For even more from SFX, sign up to the newsletter (opens in new tab), sending all the latest exclusives straight to your inbox.

With contributions from