DIRECTOR: Trey Edward Shults
WRITER: Trey Edward Shults
Kelvin Harrison Jr.
Griffin Robert Faulkner
As a family stays secure in their desolate home in the wilderness. An unnatural threat terrorises the outside world. When a desperate young family shows up at their house seeking refuge, things suddenly go from bad to worse. As tension and paranoia set in between the two families. The lingering threat that awaits on the outside may not be as dangerous as the one now growing between the group of people inside the home.
Back in April of 2017, It Comes At Night first debuted at the Overlook Film Festival. It opened to rave reviews, and the hype machine was in full swing. A24 is a studio who have only been around for roughly five years and has had an incredible run with their films. Their genre movies have also been some of the best of the last decade. We've had Under The Skin, Ex Machina, The Witch, Green Room, The Blackcoat's Daughter, The Killing Of A Sacred Deer, and Hereditary. They are on a roll at the moment.
When the trailer for It Comes At Night first debuted. I think a lot of horror fans may have been under the impression that the movie may have been about a monster of some sort. The title and all of the promotion for the film may have hinted at a story that was far more sinister than what we get in the final movie. Once it debuted, the critics were all over the film. I heard a lot of disappointment from fans that thought that the movie wasn't what they had expected, and the marketing was all a lie and had deceived horror fans.
Once I finally got around to watching It Comes At Night. The film had already been and gone. It came and left cinemas. The hype had died down. The genre had been divided by the movie they had witnessed. I had listened to an array of my favourite podcasts review the film, and not one of them had ruined it for me with their talks. Still, opinion was incredibly divided. It wasn't until the movie had landed on Netflix that I finally got to watch it. With all the talk of people saying that the film doesn't promise what the title is meant to deliver. I went into this not expecting a monster movie and was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.
Yes, It Comes At Night isn't a creature feature. Some people may even feel that this title misleads horror fans. Yet, I think genre fans made up their mind with what they were getting way too quickly with this one. This is an end of the world tale that deals with a deadly virus, and for that, I really enjoyed it. Something eventually does come during the night, and while it isn't a monster, that title does make complete sense to me now that I've seen this film. What takes place in the movie was enough to have me on the edge of my seat more than once.
What I loved about It Comes At Night was that from the very first moments that this movie begins, it is steeped in dread. While the film is very slow-burn in its approach and build-up towards its conclusion. I never felt like the family was safe, and for that, it made this incredibly nerve-wracking. The entire movie is dripping with suspense. It had moments where I genuinely felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand-up. One scene being the red-door sequence. That moment was chilling stuff even if the overall story took that time in getting to those scary places.
The acting in It Comes At Night was excellent. Joel Edgerton is a fantastic actor. Being Australian, I've known his work since first seeing him in the superb drama Praise. He has just gone from strength to strength, and I'm glad that he broke into Hollywood. I remember first seeing Carmen Ejogo is The Purge: Anarchy and knew she'd be one to watch. This is now the third movie that I've seen her in, and I thought she was bloody brilliant here. Riley Keough and Christopher Abbott round out the main cast. Both do great in their respective roles as well.
Now onto the issues that I had with It Comes At Night. My biggest issue is the ending of the film. This is one dark ending. This is not exactly a pleasant experience. You will not walk out of this story saying that was enjoyable. It's an ending that descends into paranoia and death. I felt so sorry for certain characters in this movie. It is the same issue that I had with Jackals. It's a grueling film where I think some form of a happy ending wouldn't have gone astray. I felt emotionally drained by the time the credits had begun to roll.
Lastly, I wanted to talk about the look of It Comes At Night. I think this is a gorgeous looking film. For a movie made for five million dollars and set mostly within a house in the wilderness. A lot of the cinematography and camera work looked fantastic. I think a lot of the more horror elements looked incredibly creepy here. I loved that the look and feel of the film weren't about jump scares but were slow-burn tension. To make a house scary and the wilderness feel like a threat, I can't wait to see what Trey Edward Shults delivers next.
DEATH TOLL: 7
BLOOD AND GORE:
- An old man is shot in the head, and his body is set on fire.
- A man, woman, and child are gunned down in cold blood.
- A teenage boy dies after becoming infected.
- A man is repeatedly hit in the face.
- Two men are gunned down in a forest.
- A woman vomits up black sludge into a teenage boys mouth.
- A dog gets sick and die, and its body is set on fire.
- A teenage boy is shown covered in infected sores.
When It Comes At Night debuted, critics and audiences were divided. I heard a lot of mixed opinions before I finally saw it. Going into this, I wasn't sure what to expect. I feel that the movie was more successful than it wasn't. I got a well made and creepy film about paranoia and the end of the world. While this isn't an enjoyable experience, this is filled with suspense and excellent performances. While some may find the title misleading, you will most certainly find that something does indeed come at night.