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SYFY WIRE Knock at the Cabin

M. Night Shyamalan agonized over whether to reveal big plot point in 'Knock at the Cabin' trailer

To apocalypse or not to apocalypse? That is the question.

By Josh Weiss
Knock at the Cabin

"Your family has been chosen to make a horrible decision. If you fail to choose...the world will end," proclaims Dave Bautista's imposing Leonard in the first trailer for Knock at the Cabin. What does this apocalyptic decision entail? All will be revealed in early February when the next M. Night Shyamalan thriller hits the big screen. During a recent interview with Total Film, however, the writer-director admitted that he and the studio went back and forth on whether or not to reveal more in the footage that dropped online back in late September.

"We talked a lot, Universal and I, about whether to say, at the end of the trailer, what is the thing that they have to do. And we came to the decision of saying no, we just have to get everyone to understand that the thing is not going to be good!" he explained.

Based on Paul Tremblay's 2018 novel — The Cabin at the End of the World — the film centers around a vacationing family of three (Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge, and newcomer Kristen Cui), who are suddenly taken hostage by a group of mysterious home invaders trying to prevent the world from ending. Leonard's three acolytes are played by Nikki Amuka-Bird (Old), Abby Quinn (Little Women) and Rupert Grint (Servant). But is the end of days really on the horizon or are these people just wacko? If Shyamalan's filmography has taught us anything, it's that nothing is as it seems.

RELATED: M. Night Shyamalan brings a warning of the apocalypse in first trailer for 'Knock at the Cabin'

"I’m drawn to things that take genres and bend them in new ways, or change genres from what you thought you were watching," the filmmaker continued. "The architectural twist is part of the fun of it. And as I’m morphing genres, I have to move up into more high-octane genres. If you cadence down, even if you do it really well, it has a certain reducing-of-stakes quality that the audience feels." 

Shyamalan — who adapted the source material with Steve Desmond and Michael Sherman — produced the feature alongside Marc Bienstock (Old) and Ashwin Rajan (Wayward Pines). Steven Schneider (Paranormal Activity), Christos V. Konstantakopoulos (The Lobster), and Ashley Fox (Promising Young Woman) serve as executive producers.

Knock at the Cabin steps over the threshold into theaters Friday, Feb. 3. As Collider points out, this is only the second movie of Shyamalan's career to score an R-rating after 2008's The Happening.

In the mood for more high-concept horror? Jordan Peele's Nope is now streaming on Peacock.