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Filming Knock At The Cabin Had M. Night Shyamalan Completely Shook Up

Early next year, M. Night Shyamalan will be releasing the 15th movie of his career — "Knock at the Cabin" — starring Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge, Rupert Grint, and a number of other stars. The psychological horror flick has been described by Shyamalan as being one of the darkest and most emotional films he's ever done, to the point where he would have to walk off set while filming because of the intense subject matter, which left him completely shaken, the director says. 

Adapted from the 2018 Paul Tremblay horror novel "The Cabin at the End of the World," Shyamalan's latest foray into the world of scary storytelling sees a young girl and her parents getting ambushed and taken hostage by four strangers while the family is vacationing at a remote cabin, as Universal Pictures describes it in the official synopsis. "[The strangers] demand that the family make an unthinkable choice to avert the apocalypse," the synopsis says. "With limited access to the outside world, the family must decide what they believe before all is lost."

While Shyamalan is the overall mastermind on "Knock at the Cabin" — with writer, producer, and director credits to his name — the story is one that was ultimately conjured up by him and two others, Steve Desmond and Michael Sherman, with Tremblay's "Cabin at the End of the World" serving as their main inspiration. So as a result, a lot of the material wound up shocking and pushing Shyamalan to the edge.

A take during Knock at the Cabin forced Shyamalan to leave the set and collect himself

According to a post on his Instagram account, there was one moment in particular during the filming of "Knock at the Cabin" where M. Night Shyamalan had to literally leave the movie set and collect himself because things were getting too intense during the shoot.

"One week finished on #knockatthecabin such intricate performances this week," wrote Shyamalan. "Very dark, emotional film. One take shook me up so much I had to walk away to collect myself. Hopefully you'll feel it as well when you guys see it."

As noted above, much of the "Knock at the Cabin" story that viewers will see when the movie premieres in February 2023 was inspired by Paul Tremblay's "The Cabin at the End of the World," meaning there will be some things in the film that even Shyamalan couldn't have imagined in that twisted brain of his. For Tremblay, the Universal Pictures flick serves as a great opportunity to show the world that Hollywood doesn't have to keep churning out cookie-cutter horror projects with storybook endings.

"I've had multiple producers say to me that they're looking for horror that isn't grim and has a happy ending, which means they're not really looking for horror," Tremblay told CNBC in July 2022. "'Stranger Things' is fun and all, but we can't make all 'horror' into that," he added. "So many of us horror fans (most of the ones I know) also find hope and comfort in the horror that is grim and challenging."