Knock at the Cabin’s Prophecy of Love

“Part of humanity has been judged.”

So declares the home invader Leonard after his three captives—husbands Andrew and Eric, along with their young daughter Wen—refuse his obscene message. Together with three associates, Leonard has interrupted their vacation to tell the trio that only they can forestall the end of the world by having one member of the family sacrifice another.

When Andrew and Eric refuse, Leonard and his associates follow the directions that have been given to them in the apocalyptic visions that drove them to the cabin. One of the quartet pulls a white mask over their head and kneels before the family. After two others walk back and forth in a strange ritual, Leonard takes a rusty, ragged weapon in his hands and stabs it into his compatriot’s head. The corpse crumples to the floor. Eric tells Wen to bury her face against his chest. Andrew spits with rage, tearing his wrists against the ropes that bind him. Leonard, meanwhile, walks resolutely to the television and turns it on. There, via breaking news reports, the family learns what their refusal has wrought: not just the death of Leonard’s associate, but also a series of tsunamis that sweep away thousands of innocent lives. To Leonard, the choice is horrible, but straightforward: force the terrified family to sacrifice one of their own or doom the rest of humanity.


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