Few things in life can be as uncomfortable as being stuck in a room with true believers. It’s almost irrelevant to the subject matter. When a small nuclear family made up of Dads Eric (Jonathan Groff), Andrew (Ben Aldridge) and daughter Wen (Kristen Cui) have their idyllic and isolated vacation interrupted by four interlopers, things take a turn for the worse.
When the four lay out their beliefs, all involved are anything but comfortable. The gang led by Leonard (Dave Bautista) spin a story of an impending apocalypse that only the three cabin dwellers can prevent. This outrageous assertion is partially backed up by emergency news reports on television that go some way towards making their claims seem true.
The craft in the script is illustrated by making you never feel entirely convinced in the veracity of their story even though they seem to be true believers. This is also mirrored by slight discrepancies in the TV news pieces. This doubt gives things a more than unsettling edge. The violence is also more implied than shown which also allows the mind to feel the threat and urgency of their actions.
As director and one member of the screenplay writing team who based it on the novel, The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul G. Tremblay, M. Night Shyamalan is at his creepy best. When one of his projects succeeds, his style imbues the proceedings with an otherworldly feeling that is quite engaging. This is one of those triumphs.