It Comes at Night (2017)

Director: Trey Edward Shults

Writer: Trey Edward Shults (Screenplay)

Starring: Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo, Riley Keough, Kelvin Harrison Jr, Griffin Robert Faulkner

 

Plot: Secure within a desolate home as an unnatural threat terrorizes the world, a man has established a tenuous domestic order with his wife and son, but this will soon be put to test when a desperate young family arrives seeking refuge.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nerve Shredding Nail Bitter

 

Story: It Comes at Night starts in a world where a virus has crippled the population, Paul (Edgerton), Sarah (Ejogo) and their son Travis (Harrison Jr) live in the middle of the woods in a secure house with only one entrance also being the exit. When their home gets broken into by Will (Abbott) the family dynamic must figure out whether to believe his story, help him or let him go.

Once the family make the decision the family welcomes Will and his family Kim (Keough) and son Andrew (Faulkner) into their home as numbers could help against a threat, but how long can this peace last?

 

Thoughts on It Comes at Night

 

Characters/PerformanceWill is the strict father of the house, he has created a secure home with the rules that will keep his family safe, he will not go easy on anyone that comes into the life and does the clean up when anything needs to be done. Will is the stranger that is just as desperate to keep his family safe and stumbles into the wrong house, but he is good and gets to work with Paul to start a safer home. Sarah and Kim are both the weakest written characters mostly because they are just the wives, Sarah does have slightly more about her because she will be smarter about the bigger decisions the family must make. Travis is the most interesting character in the film, he is the son of Paul & Sarah, he is attached to the late grandfather and his dog, we get to see a lot of the film through his eyes and ears as well as most of the truly horrific moments come in his nightmares.

Performance wise, Joel Edgerton is brilliant in this leading role, being a man of little words but many facial expressions when not explain the rules. Christopher Abbott is also good in this role showing how desperate people could be. Carmen Ejogo and Riley Keough are both good but could have been written stronger. Kelvin Harrison Jr is the new star to watch after his performance in this film, which shows curiosity being stuck with strict rules.

StoryThe story follows a world that has had a virus wiping out the population, we don’t learn what caused this which you could see upset people but I didn’t find this a stumbling block because it adds to the mystery. The story focuses on how desperate people would act to survive in this situation, how easy things could go wrong and just how even the best of people could go do unthinkable things. The story is filled with tension and mystery that just keeps you on the edge of your seat, just wanting to know what will happen next.

Horror/MysteryThe horror comes from how the family must survive what could come from anything, the disease spreading around the country. The mystery is also tied into the horror as we are left to see what is happening and what could go wrong.

SettingsThe film is set in the middle of the woods, the house is off the grid and has no main roads nearby. We get an excellent use location which only adds the tension needed in the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best horror films of the year, but it could easily divide the horror community, I feel this could be considered to be in the same league as 2016 The Witch and could have had stronger written female characters.

 

Overall: Must watch for the horror fans out there.

Rating

 

 

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6 comments on “It Comes at Night (2017)

  1. I’m not shocked you came to this conclusion. The internet is split on this film. It’s unlike the With because it has no end clues to wrap up the tension. It gives very little context for what is going on which led me all the way through to suspecting Edgerton’s character was insane. The extremely ne director failed to make a masterpiece. An introductory quote even would give us a bone to chew on. I am all for irl real time plots where little earth shattering happens but the storyteller has to craft meaning more than this. We can all in invent what it means of course. The director homself may not know or want us to come to a certain conclusion.

    • The point would be that we know as little as the characters, Edgerton character clearly states do you know what is going on out there now, to which Will replied with how empty the cities are now. I will agree in places the dream sequences were slightly random but i do feel they acted as part foreshadowing. as i said before i feel this film could have gotten away with a full ‘restart’ after the big incident and we learn about Will’s family to create just how desperate he was too. I never saw any trailers but i am hearing they are terribly misleading too

      • It wasn’t clear to me whether the dog was injured or “sick” with the ominous disease. Too much was unclear. I appreciate your take on the film, I can tell you based on me and what I’ve been through in my movie experience, this movie could never be interesting to me. I like a bunch more from a director. I think this film could have been an outstanding mix between the Village and the Walking Dead if it were done better. Thanks for your thoughts Darren, you always have great ones.

  2. Great review. The horror fans cannot make up their minds on this one because of the absence of blood and gore. It is superbly minimalist but conveys the full horror of what some people can or must do to survive dystopian catastrophe. This film works more because of what it does not show rather than the usual digitial spooks we usually see in this genre.

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