‘Knock at the Cabin’ Proves Dave Bautista Is Hollywood's Best Leading Man

Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Universal
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Universal
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There are roughly 47,000—oh, wait, a new Netflix Original just dropped; make that 47,001—TV shows and movies coming out each week. At Obsessed, we consider it our social duty to help you see the best and skip the rest.

We’ve already got a variety of in-depth, exclusive coverage on all of your streaming favorites and new releases, but sometimes what you’re looking for is a simple Do or Don’t. That’s why we created See/Skip, to tell you exactly what our writers think you should See and what you can Skip from the past week’s crowded entertainment landscape.

See: Knock at the Cabin

Knock at the Cabin finds M. Night Shyamalan back in peak form for a new, gut-churning anxious ride through apocalyptic theological terror. If Dave Bautista was knocking at my cabin, I’d simply welcome him in for a light brunch. Relegating Bautista to his WWE roots would be a major, embarrassing mistake. Knock at the Cabin proves that Bautista is a literal larger-than-life force in the future of cinema—regardless of genre.

Here’s Coleman Spilde’s take:

“Sometime in the late 2000s, M. Night Shyamalan forgot all about empathy. His biggest films, the ones that are considered horror-thriller masterpieces, like The Sixth Sense and Signs—and, yes, even an early work as mistakenly maligned as The Village—exude empathy at almost every turn. These are films that understand the plights of their characters, actively rooting for them while keeping the chilly dread of their respective atmospheres intact. Their heart is what makes them so striking.

‘Knock at the Cabin’ Is M. Night Shyamalan’s Return to Anxious, Heartfelt Form

How thrilling, then, that his latest is an undeniable return to form. Knock at the Cabin, in theaters Friday, is Shyamalan’s most empathetic and grounded work in almost two decades. Adapted from Paul Tremblay’s acclaimed 2018 novel The Cabin at the End of the World, the film finds Shyamalan working in peak condition, allowing the solid source material to keep his inclination to color too far outside the lines at bay. The result is a remarkably taut thriller that’s dripping in dread, refusing to waste a single second of its runtime for audience reprieve.

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<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>(from left) Nikki Amuka-Bird, Abby Quinn, Rupert Grint and Dave Bautista in <em>Knock at the Cabin</em>, directed by M. Night Shyamalan.</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Universal Pictures</div>

(from left) Nikki Amuka-Bird, Abby Quinn, Rupert Grint and Dave Bautista in Knock at the Cabin, directed by M. Night Shyamalan.

Universal Pictures

See: Pamela: A Love Story

Pamela: A Love Story is a thoroughly moving portrait of complicated survival, told firsthand from one of the most compelling screen presences to have ever lived. You’ll regret watching Pam & Tommy more than you already did.

Here’s Kevin Fallon’s take:

“There’s exhausting talk amongst people in a certain age range about what qualifies as millennial vs. Gen X and, in some cases, Gen Z: what years; what kind of upbringing; what pop-culture memories. But there’s a realization I had this week, while reading through the gossip around Anderson’s just-released memoir, Love, Pamela; taking in her major interviews in support of it; and, now, having just watched the new Netflix documentary Pamela: A Love Story. We’re all the Pam Anderson Generation. And it’s time for our reckoning.

Pamela Anderson’s Redemption: We Should Be Ashamed of How She Was Treated

There are certainly insightful observations about the invasion of privacy she suffered when the sex tape was released and the cruel humiliation she endured. And Anderson exhibits nothing but candor throughout, especially when discussing her “sick” feeling when Pam and Tommy was released and the past she’d worked so hard to move on from was in the news again. But, overwhelmingly, she talks through her feelings about love, trust, taking risks, and figuring out who she really is, after years of being told to be a certain way.”

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<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>Pamela Anderson in <em>Pamela, a Love Story</em>.</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Netflix</div>

Pamela Anderson in Pamela, a Love Story.


Skip: The Ark

The Ark is a sci-fi series more disastrous than the catastrophe at its narrative core, with more caricatures than characters. The last thing you’d want is to spend 40 days and 40 nights with this—let alone four episodes.

Here’s Nick Schager’s take:

“Dean Devlin has made a career out of larger-than-life sci-fi spectacles, producing frequent partner Roland Emmerich’s Stargate, Independence Day, and Godzilla, and helming the more recent Geostorm. Thus, even though it’s debuting on Syfy rather than in theaters, The Ark fits comfortably into his body of work, insofar as it’s another tale of apocalyptic planetary threats and humanity’s desperate mission to stave off extinction. Unfortunately, it’s also a calamity-oriented show that itself is a disaster.

‘The Ark’: A Sci-Fi Series About Disaster That’s a Travesty Itself

There’s much racing through corridors in The Ark, as well as crew-member discontent, intimations of sabotage-centric conspiracies, and leaden dialogue. What’s missing is compelling action, serviceable CGI, and a sense of this all taking place within a grander context.

Worse, the show is infinitely more fixated on pressing sci-fi setbacks and obstacles (The doodad is on the fritz! The whatchamacallit is leaking!) than on intriguing human relationships or thorny socio-political ideas. There’s nothing under the hood of The Ark except a lot of ho-hum parts borrowed from better voyage-into-the-beyond sagas.

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<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>Reece Ritchie as Lt. Spencer Lane in <em>The Ark.</em></p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Aleksandar Letic/Ark TV Holdings, Inc./SYFY</div>

Reece Ritchie as Lt. Spencer Lane in The Ark.

Aleksandar Letic/Ark TV Holdings, Inc./SYFY

See: Freeridge

Freeridge is a gender-swapped spinoff of Netflix’s On My Block, depicting a group of four teenage girls in South Central Los Angeles with plenty of wit and wisdom, and without all that saccharine, cornball nonsense we’re used to from teen comedies.

Here’s Laura Bradley’s take:

“It’s time to come back to Freeridge. Young audiences who flocked to Netflix’s On My Block for its compelling performances, its zeal for mysteries, and its refreshing take on Black and brown masculinity will likely love its spin-off—named after the fictional South Central Los Angeles neighborhood in which it takes place.

<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>(L to R) Bryana Salaz as Ines, Keyla Monterroso Mejia as Gloria in <em>Freeridge</em>.</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Netflix</div>

(L to R) Bryana Salaz as Ines, Keyla Monterroso Mejia as Gloria in Freeridge.


The show’s grounded portrayal of life in the notorious Los Angeles area earned the show praise, as did its use of mysteries to drive its plot—a welcome touch of levity. Freeridge also maintains the same look and feel as On My Block, with inviting color palettes and costume design that walks just the right line between keeping things modern and going full fashion victim in an attempt to capture how Teens These Days dress.

If You Liked ‘On My Block,’ You’ll Love Its Spinoff, ‘Freeridge’

Viewers will fall in love with Freeridge for the same reason they loved On My Block: It brings the same trademark combination of humor and heart. Its setting is grounded but inviting—realistic but with just enough pockets of magic. Its characters are specific, carefully sketched, and a joy to watch. And most importantly of all, it’s never corny or stereotypical—a genuine rarity in teen television these days, and any day. Even as a newbie in town, I’d come back to Freeridge any time.”

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