Wen and her fathers are enjoying a nice, relaxing family vacation in a remote cabin on a lake in New England when they are approached by a man named Leonard and a few of his friends. Leonard has a dire warning: the small family must make an important decision or the world will come to an end.
Despite being one of Paul Tremblay’s more critically acclaimed books, The Cabin at the End of the World was the last of his novels I’d read. When M. Night Shyamalan released a trailer for his film adaptation of the story, and after a recommendation from a friend, it was time to finally check this out.
Once the tension gets going in this story, it rarely lets up until the final few pages. Leonard’s ominous demand gains traction as events begin happening around the world as he as his cohorts beg the family to come to grips with their importance and what they must do.
The timeline grows shorter as the story moves along and the family must make their choice. There were points where I was essentially speed reading ahead and had to make myself slow down so as to not miss anything. It’s worth noting that this is a violent story with several intensely graphic scenes that had me reeling. Tremblay was merciless in his execution here, so don’t expect that everyone makes it out alive.
On a side note, I’m a little worried about M. Night Shyamalan’s adaptation. To be fair, I haven’t watched any of his movies following The Village, but I understand he’s had more misses than hits. I suppose Dave Bautista fits the description of Leonard, but the character in the novel is more than half his age. Given that Dave loves playing characters he can disappear into, though, maybe this can work.
In my book, Tremblay has had some misses over the years including this year’s The Pallbearers Club, but The Cabin at the End of the World shows just how good he can really be and just how unafraid he is to take risks. A solid 4 out of 5.