It Comes At Night is a psychological horror film released on June 9, 2017 by A24. The film is directed by Trey Edward Shults and stars Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo, Kelvin Harrison Jr., and Riley Keough.
Without further ado, here is my review of It Comes At Night.
It Comes At Night revolves around the small, lonely world of a family of three, Paul (Edgerton), Sarah (Ejogo), Travis. (Harrison Jr.), and their dog Stanley. Their family lives in a large house in the middle of the woods where they are isolated from the rest of society after an unknown phenomena that is making people sick has occurred — the sickness is highly contagious and has been ravaging the countries population. The audiences viewpoint, then, is from that of the family, and we spend a large amount of time in the head of Travis, Paul and Sarah’s son. We spend each moment with this family as they try to survive with no knowledge of what caused the sickness or what is going on outside of their safe zone. Until one day, a stranger and his young family appear. Then things get interesting.
The one problem facing It Comes At Night from the get-go is its trailer. For those who view the trailer before watching the film, the trailer is suspenseful, creepy, dark and fantastically edited, but after viewing the movie, it is obvious that A24 was not selling an accurate image of its product. The final product of the movie is definitely all of those things: suspenseful, creepy, dark, beautifully shot and well crafted, but the trailer gives off a faster-paced, action-packed, horror story than what was released. Some critics have labeled It Comes At Night a psychological drama rather than a horror film. I would recommend to go into this viewing without watching the trailer.
That being said, It Comes At Night is a fine film that is confident from its opening scene, and it is not afraid to leave its audience feeling desperate for answers. It throws the audience into this dark, mysterious, post-apocalyptic world head-first without giving us a hint as to what is going on in the outside world. Because, really, that is the objective of the film. Our knowledge is limited just as is the family whose story is being told. We know as much as they do, and, as a result, the characters become extremely relatable, raw and real; you see and feel their reasoning behind each action and motive.
The design of having more questions than answers can be a frustrating feeling for a casual movie-go’er who dislikes ambiguity and wants the answer to everything that is going on, but It Comes At Night attempts to tackle something more. It wants its audience to think; to be okay with not knowing what will come next and it dares you to try to survive through the end of the movie, because that is the dilemma our characters are in. We are stuck with them. With that in mind, if you are someone who likes their table perfectly set and each dish hand-picked before the courses begin to arrive, this might not be the movie for you. But if you can get past that initial wave of impatience, if you can be comfortable in a state of abstrusity, then you are in for a great ride.
Film Rating: 78/100