M. Night Shyamalan’s Cinema of Religious Environmental Activism

If there is anything we can say with absolute certainty about Knock at the Cabin, M. Night Shyamalan’s latest directorial effort, it is that it is incredibly familiar and immediately invites reviewers to see it in the context of the man’s previous work. Indeed, Shyamalan seems to be a creature of habit compelled to ‘go back to the well’ and revisit themes and ideas which have haunted his existence throughout his entire career. However, it seems that at least some of the contents of that well may not have been appreciated by audiences the way they perhaps should have. 

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Knock at the Cabin (2023)

Looking back over two decades at the time when M. Night Shyamalan burst onto the screen with The Sixth Sense and took the world by storm, you’d be keen to remember how his early output precipitated multiple comparisons to Sir Alfred Hitchcock. Granted, it is impossible to separate his own self-mythologizing from the genuine third-party reception of his work – after all, the man has always had an ego, which is also perfectly acceptable. However, it is probably reasonable to assume that the truth lies somewhere between audiences responding so viscerally to Shyamalan’s inventive twist endings, critics pinpointing aesthetic inspirations Shyamalan drew from Hitchcock’s work, and the auteur’s own mythmaking.  

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Is Jordan Peele The M. Night Shyamalan of This Decade?

Despite a relentless marketing campaign running up to its long-awaited release, Nope came and went. Sure, it endeared a good cross-section of the critically-inclined viewership (here’s my take on this movie), but it somehow failed to leave a lasting mark on general audiences, thus disappearing from the collective cultural consciousness within a span of a few short weeks, and at this point it might be a good idea to ask why that is.

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Can OLD Be Weaponized by Vaccine Refuseniks?

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for M. Night Shyamalan’s Old

It took me longer than I would like to admit to come up with a title to this text that wouldn’t immediately ruin the film for anyone who has not seen Old yet. And although I think did a good enough job in remaining slightly vague while still making sure the title corresponds to what I wanted to touch on, something tells me (based on the dwindling conversation surrounding the film and the negative word-of-mouth extinguishing the film’s presence in the zeitgeist) that there aren’t many people left in the world who would care that much anyway.

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The Shyamalan Cameo and Authorial Control

Film directors have inserted themselves into their work ever since they figured out that somebody else was able to keep the camera rolling. In fact, quite a few have become known for doing so (you can find a more or less comprehensive Wikipedia list here). While most of these instances of director cameos are barely noticeable and can be easily filed as interesting curiosities to bring up during a podcast recording, some filmmakers have become well-known for sliding themselves into the frame. Naturally, the go-to example is Alfred Hitchcock who did this in the vast majority of his features (again, a comprehensive Wikipedia list is a great resource), but even the most vaguely informed movie-goer would be able to name Quentin Tarantino, Steven Spielberg, Richard Donner or Martin Scorsese as filmmakers known to have appeared in front of the camera in their own movies for a brief moment in time.

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The Uncut Gems Podcast – Episode 26 (The Village)

I don’t think we often tie in the topics of what we cover on the show to a theatrical release. The closest we have ever come to acknowledging the outside world (though I might be wrong) was when we talked about Solo – A Star Wars Story around May the 4th and Alien 3 around April the 26th. But that’s about it. This time we made a conscious choice to tether ourselves to the discourse surrounding the release of Old (brief as it may be in the grand scheme of things) and decided to have a conversation about M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village.

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