M. Night Shyamalan's Knock At The Cabin Will NOT Be Shot In One Long Take [Updated]

UPDATE: M. Night Shyamalan's representatives have now reached out to say that this report is incorrect, and the source article has since been taken down. Our original article text follows.

M. Night Shyamalan has never been afraid to toy with cinematic conventions, but he's set himself up for a real challenge with his next film, "Knock at the Cabin." According to JoBlo, Shyamalan is planning on shooting the entire film in one long take. While long takes are an established tradition, especially in horror, attempting a single-take feature film can be extremely challenging due to sheer logistics. If there's a director up for the challenge though, it's probably the always-experimental M. Night. 

Shyamalan's Cinematic Experiment

While the JoBlo reveal doesn't give much more information or even a full quote from the director, it is an exciting tidbit of news. Shyamalan has used long takes in his work before, most notably in "Signs," where he used long single-shot sequences to build a sense of dread. Over the years, he's experimented with numerous cinematic devices, including his infamous twist endings, using color for thematic understanding, and even telling multiple stories at the same time through the use of cuts. He understands the way that the camera can sometimes represent the audience, and could do some incredible things with a true single-shot film. 

Of course, the biggest hurdle with an idea this audacious is planning. Every single moment during filming must be perfectly timed, because there are no second chances. A ruined take means starting from the beginning, which could be hours of work for nothing. There aren't many true single-shot movies in existence for this reason, though those that exist are stunning simply for what they've accomplished. (See: the 2015 film "Victoria.") Other films, like Sam Mendes' "1917," Alejandro G. Iñárritu's "Birdman," and Alfred Hitchcock's "Rope," are all edited to seem as if they are one shot, but careful cuts have been made and hidden throughout each. 

A Long History of Long Takes in Horror

Long takes are frequently seen in horror movies, in part because they are so useful for creating suspense. Scenes like little Danny's tricycle ride around the Overlook Hotel from "The Shining" use the time that passes to make the viewer increasingly anxious. We know there's something scary at the end, but by dragging out the moments leading up to the fright, director Stanley Kubrick heightens the intensity of the scene. Imagine applying that same kind of creeping dread to an entire film, and you can see how it would ratchet up the fear factor. 

While we unfortunately don't know much more about "Knock at the Cabin" other than the casting of Dave Bautista in a lead role, this tidbit is sure to get Shyamalan fans salivating. "Knock at the Cabin" is set to premiere in theaters on February 3, 2023.