“It Comes at Night” Review

12 July, 2017

Director: Trey Edward Shults
Screenwriter: Trey Edward Shults
Director of Photography: Drew Daniels
Cast: 
Joel Edgerton, Carmen Ejogo, Christopher Abbott

Synopsis: A distrustful man who will do anything to protect his family from a life-threatening disease finds his morals severely tested after a young couple and their infant son are invited to seek refuge in his sanctuary.

It Comes at Night Review:

A film inspired by a handful of rustic invasion thrillers yet destined to be remembered for its unique strain of melancholia, “It Comes at Night” infects viewers with a flesh-eating disease, consuming the body and burrowing into the mind while a desperate father becomes infested with enough paranoia to eradicate any chance of compassion or rationality. Placed in a moody and brooding context, the film envisions claustrophobic horror at its most unforgiving, curdling between acts as a creek in the dark and a scream in the night obliterates the line between foreshadowing and fiction while a soul-destroying disease presents itself in both literal and metaphorical fashion to a troupe of vulnerable survivors.

Capturing psychotic terror at its most disturbed but failing to provide a light source adequate enough to map the way, “It Comes at Night” purposefully sides with those most susceptible to suspicion, tricking viewers into a false sense of mistrust when unity is at its most scarce. Shielding even the most invested of watchers from the truth behind its safeguarded plotting, the movie allows protective instincts to fuel a post-apocalyptic nightmare yet its under-exploration of the beats of its own backstory leaves viewers relying on mere implication rather than definitive proof that something more sinister is bubbling under the surface.

Soft-spoken agony at its most pained and vicious, “It Comes at Night” combines the desolate misery of Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” with the arthouse dread seen in recent horror movies like “The Witch” and “Get Out”. Failing to be quite as nifty as its predecessors, the film resorts to an act of extreme violence to get its point across, rendering it far too conspicuous to earn respect yet still deservedly stark in all its commotion. Humanising the need for bloodshed yet chastising its victims through guilt and loss, “It Comes at Night” goes out of its way to end badly for all those involved, leaving it ultimately up to the lone viewer to decide whether such a bleak message can truly earn its place in an already saturated sub-genre.

 

   

Summary
Review Date
Movie
It Comes at Night
Rating
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