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Biggest Unanswered Questions In Knock At The Cabin

Prolific twist master M. Night Shyamalan returns to the big screen with his latest thriller, "Knock at the Cabin." The film, based on Paul G. Tremblay's 2018 novel "The Cabin at the End of the World," follows a family of three taken hostage by four strangers during their cabin vacation. The family is given a choice to either choose one of their own to be sacrificed or let an impending apocalypse wipe out humanity. However, with some details of the day possibly signaling that the strangers' prophecy isn't true, the family refuses to make a choice. Soon, everyone is thrown into a power struggle that'll not only change the lives of everyone in the cabin but potentially decide the fate of the entire world. 

"Knock at the Cabin" is a total thrill ride from start to finish and features an ongoing mystery that leaves viewers thinking about every small detail. From Andrew (Ben Aldridge) picking up on things that contradict what the strangers are saying about apocalyptic events occurring and their cryptic visions to Leonard's (Dave Bautista) confidence in his beliefs, viewers are never really sure who's going to end up being right. That's what makes the film's big reveals so impactful, leading to an intensely emotional finale that viewers will never forget. 

However, like any good M. Night Shyamalan movie, there are plenty of questions left unanswered after the credits roll. With that in mind, let's delve into the plot threads left hanging in "Knock at the Cabin." 

Is Redmond the one who attacked Andrew at the bar?

One of the biggest lingering mysteries of "Knock at the Cabin" is whether or not Redmond (Rupert Grint) is actually the man who attacked Andrew at a bar years prior. This theory is a big part of why Andrew thinks the group is either lying or being misled by Redmond. Part of him believes that Redmond led them to the cabin to continue some kind of homophobic crusade against him and Eric (Jonathan Groff). However, there's no clear answer regarding whether Redmond is really the one who attacked Andrew. 

In the flashback to that night at the bar, the face of the man who attacked Andrew is obscured but does feature some resemblance to Redmond. His orange-colored beard looks familiar, and the parts of his face we see do look similar to Redmond's. Also, as Andrew points out, the details of Redmond's story could match up with the attacker since he has spent time in jail and comes off as an angry person. 

However, this remains just a theory by the end of the film. While it becomes obvious that Redmond didn't plan for the group to come to the cabin in some sort of revenge scheme since the prophecy ends up being true, it's still unknown if he attacked Andrew on that fateful night.

Why do the four strangers feel like they have to do this?

The four strangers say that they're tasked with carrying out this mission to get Eric and Andrew to make a choice, but there's nothing that says they couldn't just walk away. Sure, they've seen visions of what's to come if Eric and Andrew don't make a choice and are motivated to save their loved ones from a horrific fate. What if they don't ask the family to make a choice at all? If they don't go to the cabin, who's to say that the apocalypse would even be set in motion?

After all, the plagues can only be released if there's a negative answer and the other strangers kill the next one in line. So, if they simply chose not to believe what they foresaw, would the apocalypse even happen? It seems strange that none of them ever question the idea of never following through on the plan. 

Still, it shows how deep their sense of belief runs and how moved they are by the sheer idea that the world could end. There's still a chance that their belief is their biggest downfall and that this whole thing could've been avoided had they just ignored the visions — but that's a theory that we'll never know the answer to. 

Why do some of the apocalyptic events happen early?

Another key theory that Andrew uses to try and disprove the strangers' prophecy is that some of the apocalyptic events are mistimed based on when they're asking the question, and he's got a good point. By the time Redmond is killed, there has been an earthquake that occurred four hours earlier than when they even got to the cabin. The virus that comes from the second plague is also something that has been happening for weeks prior to the plague being unleashed. To be fair, there are noticeable upticks that happen when the plague is released, but it's still weird that some of the cataclysmic events predate the events of the film. 

These mistimed events lend a lot of weight to Andrew's theory that the broadcasts are pre-recorded and that the strangers are timing everything with the help of their watches. Clearly, this theory ends up being misinformed since all the world-ending events are shown to be happening in real time. Still, there's never really an explanation offered as to why it seems like the apocalypse started early. Aside, of course, from Leonard saying that perhaps the apocalypse started long before they got to the cabin, although this sounds like a little bit too convenient of an answer. 

Why did Redmond lie about his name?

Redmond is honestly kind of a mystery in "Knock at the Cabin" since so many details of his story are left ambiguous. For instance, why does he lie about his name being Redmond? Andrew is pretty determined to show that Redmond hasn't been honest and is even using a fake name, which he proves by looking at his driver's license. However, the other strangers don't want to dig deep into it, and it isn't until Andrew can get his hands on Redmond's wallet that we learn that his real name is O'Bannon. So why does Redmond lie about his name?

Maybe it's just a symbol of Redmond not liking Leonard's idea of being formal and talking about their personal lives. When the group initially introduces themselves to Eric, Andrew, and Wen (Kristen Cui), he openly mocks the process before reluctantly falling in line. So, perhaps his use of a fake name is just a bit of rebellion. Or maybe he knew that Eric and Andrew were the ones they were going to take captive, and he decided to use a fake name so they wouldn't recognize him and instill doubt in everyone else? 

It's a little weird that we don't ever get an explanation on why he chooses the name Redmond. However, considering how quickly Redmond is eliminated, this is likely a mystery that'll be left unanswered forever. 

Who or what does Eric see in the light?

Just as the strangers prepare to execute Redmond, Eric sees some kind of figure in the light and is curious about what he saw throughout the rest of the film. It's debated whether it's a side effect of the concussion suffering from or something more. With how the strangers' visions become true and their choice influences the fate of humanity, it's pretty likely that the figure in the light is something more than just a figment of Eric's imagination. Still, we never figure out what it really is. 

It's clearly a sign from some higher power to convince Eric that a choice needs to be made, but with the human-like look of the figure, it might have a more significant meaning or identity. Perhaps it's some kind of angel sent by God — or just God, itself. The film never gives this entity an identity, and it remains a mystery once the credits roll. 

Why doesn't Wen just keeping running into the woods?

While Eric and Andrew are tied up and unable to move for most of the film, Wen can move about freely, and she even escapes at one point. She leaves the cabin through a hole in the basement door created when the strangers break in. She runs outside but doesn't get too far as Leonard quickly catches her while she tries to hide behind a rock. Wen barely tries to escape, and it's surprising that she doesn't try to run deeper into the woods to lose Leonard. 

While it makes sense that her thinking would be a little off since she's panicking and afraid of being caught by Leonard, hiding does nothing but delay the inevitable. She doesn't get very far and ends up being easy prey for Leonard to snatch up. If she had run as far as she could into the woods, she probably would've stood a better chance at finding someone to help her or at least get far away enough to lose Leonard. Wen is very young and understandably scared, though, so maybe that's why her escape plan wasn't all that great. 

Why doesn't Wen get an opinion?

Eric and Andrew are constantly asked the central choice of whether or not they're willing to sacrifice someone, but Wen never is. Wen is generally never asked anything, which is strange since the choice requires a group consensus. When Leonard is talking to the family about the choice and saying that no one can leave, he's clearly including Wen in that conversation. Otherwise, why would he chase her if she didn't matter to the choice? As such, it's odd that Wen is just left out of the conversation and not given a chance to have her own opinion on the choice. 

Obviously, she's incredibly young, which means that Eric and Andrew likely don't want her to have to think about choosing one of them to die. Still, she's shown to be a very curious and generally smart kid, making it surprising that she never tries to voice her thoughts on the matter. It's weird that she doesn't outwardly question whether or not the strangers are telling the truth. Of course, she is just a kid, and she's scared in this situation, so she's just trying to do right by her parents. This makes her silence understandable, but it's still peculiar that she doesn't get to voice her opinion regarding the choice. 

Why does Andrew leave the gun in the trunk?

A big turning point in "Knock at the Cabin" is when Eric and Andrew break free and start to turn the tables on the strangers. Eric distracts the intruders while Andrew heads outside to the car to retrieve a gun they have in the trunk. Andrew getting his hands on that gun is a huge turning point for them, but it's hard not to wonder why Andrew left the gun in the trunk in the first place. Sure, it's in a safe so it's not like someone could break into the truck and steal it from them. Still, it makes no sense from a home defense perspective. 

After all, the family ends up in pretty much exactly the kind of situation you would want a gun handy for and it could've been pretty helpful when the strangers were breaking into the cabin. It's an inexplicable and boneheaded move from someone as logically driven as Andrew. Beyond that, it kind of makes bringing the gun for self-defense pointless if you're just going to leave it in the car. 

Maybe Andrew thought they were so safe because of how secluded they were? Still, it's a baffling error on his part.  

Why were Andrew, Eric, and Wen chosen?

Although Andrew initially believes that they were targeted by these strangers for being gay, it eventually becomes clear that the group's mission is legit and that the family is responsible for the fate of the world. However, it's never really explained why exactly Eric, Andrew, and Wen have been chosen for this dilemma. The strangers obviously come to the cabin because their visions tell them to, and they don't know who they will find there. Still, there has to be a bigger reason that the family was chosen for this important task. 

Eric believes that their genuine love for one another and the uniqueness of their family is the reason that they have been chosen, but there's no concrete evidence of that. It's frankly a mystery as to why this family was picked. Since the film doesn't directly acknowledge a higher power that oversees this choice, there's no way to fully understand why they're chosen. With the limited information viewers are given, we have to chalk it up to plain old bad luck.

Why did the strangers do such a bad job at blocking exits?

The strangers waste no time breaking into the cabin when Eric and Andrew refuse to let them in. Once inside, they make an effort to ensure that the family doesn't go anywhere. Still, it's perplexing why they don't do more to block the exits. After all, Wen simply sneaks through the basement door to get outside, and Andrew faces almost no opposition when he makes a break for the car. Leonard and his cohorts literally don't even lock the front door. 

Even though Leonard says that the family isn't allowed to leave the house until the choice is made, he doesn't do much to make sure there's no chance of escaping. No one even tries to block up the windows or doors. In fact, the home invaders generally just look kind of clueless. Clearly, they have a lot on their minds with the whole world possibly ending and everything, but simply locking the front door would've made things much easier for them. 

Why didn't Andrew's thoughts on Redmond cause more of an impact on the group?

Andrew makes a pretty convincing argument to the strangers about Redmond possibly orchestrating this whole thing for ulterior motives, and it seems like it could divide them for a second. Adriane (Abby Quinn) and Sabrina (Nikki Amuka-Bird) certainly start to question their entire mission, but Leonard rallies them, and everything goes back to normal. It's never really brought up again or has the same effect, and it's unclear why. 

The argument Andrew makes is pretty compelling and definitely has some fair points. Adriane and Sabrina just kind of forget about it, though, and there's never a moment again that sees them continue to question things. It's especially surprising for Adriane since she knows she's the next to go, and you would think that seed of doubt might make her want to back out. Maybe it's just that after seeing more catastrophes occur, they become convinced that Andrew is wrong, but it's weird that his arguments don't have the lasting effect they should. 

Why did Eric and Andrew just leave Wen on her own at the start of the film?

Andrew and Eric seem like good parents, especially based on the way they care for Wen and how much they're willing to fight to keep her from harm. Eric even sacrifices himself for the idea of Wen being able to live a happy life with Andrew in an imperfect but beautiful world. However, it feels like they're making a big blunder at the start of the film by letting her go off on her own in the woods. 

It's definitely not safe, considering that a total stranger could come up to her — exactly as Leonard does. Beyond that, what if some sort of big animal attacked her? The family is in the middle of the woods, after all. Wen seems like a pretty capable and smart kid, but it's definitely a bad idea to let her roam on her own in an unpredictable environment. Maybe if Andrew and Eric had kept a closer eye on Wen in the beginning, things would have gone differently.