Review: It Comes At Night (2017)

Synopsis: 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.
Writer/Director, Trey Edward Shults’, apocalyptic horror, “It Comes at Night”, begins with a family living on the outskirts of society trying to survive the devastation of an unknown virus. “Paul”, played by the very talented Joel Edgerton and his family, “Sarah” and “Travis” played respectively by actress Carmen Ejogo and Kelvin Harris, are dealing with the recent loss of “Sarah’s” father to the aforementioned virus. “Paul” decides to burn his father in law’s remains in order to prevent further infection. As the smoke billows up from the fiery corpse of “Sarah’s” Father, the camera pans to the tree line alerting the audience that these infected smoke signals could bring unwanted attention to their private home. It just goes to show you that In the viral apocalypse, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t .
Sure enough soon after the disposal of “Sarah’s” fathers cadaver, “Travis” is woken by a noise in the clan’s Swiss Family Robinson like home during the middle of the night. While investigating this disturbance, “Paul” finds, and disables an intruder trying to break into the perimeter of the home. The intruder is “Will”, played by Christopher Abbott. “Will” finds himself the next morning tied to a tree on the family’s property. He is then interrogated by “Paul”, and left for what seems to be about a 24 hour period blind folded, and restrained in the forest. “Will”, now beaten down, pleads with “Paul” to trust him, and follow him back to his own family’s hideout with the promise of live animals, and water in exchange for supplies. “Paul” agrees, and the two men embark on a violent journey that ultimately lands the families back at “Paul’s” estate.  The families agree to to live, and work together for the survival of the group until the apocalypse blows over.
This all sounds fine and dandy at first, and actually shows great promise as the families co-exist for what seems to be weeks on end. However, eventually suspicion, paranoia and “Travis’s” weird coming of age attraction for “Will’s” wife, “Kim”, played by Riley Keough, begin to be too much for the men too handle, and chaos ensues.
Writer Trey Edward Shults plays on themes of genocide and the evils of humanity. While the threat in the background is indeed a viral apocalypse, the true antagonist’s of the film are the people that the story is centered around. The script, cinematography, and acting stand on their own, but are inspired by classics like “The Shinning” and “Lord of the Flies”. “It Comes at Night”, is psychological horror at it’s finest. However, there is no satisfying payoff at the end for the spoon-fed, millennial generation of today. Perhaps it’s their lack of imagination, and attention span that has some audiences trashing this film. I beg to differ with those audiences. This film has its flaws, but it literally had me and my girlfriend discussing it’s themes and imagery for an hour after our viewing. I’d say that Shults did a fine job in allowing the audience to use their imagination throughout much of the movie and especially towards the ending. Some details are left to ponder on your own.  Thats a good thing sometimes, and very refreshing.
I rate “It Comes at Night” a 7 out of 10 stars.

About David Jeffery 12 Articles
About me in Horror: My love for horror can be attributed to one man, my Father. I was maybe 5 years old when he showed me some of his favorites such as Halloween, The Thing (Carpenter), Night of the Living Dead, and Jaws. While some parents would shelter their kids from such violent films, my father saw no problem in taking the family out to the Hillside Theatre in Hillside, Illinois for a horror movie. We saw films such as Hellraiser, Aliens, and Pet Semetery when I was but a wee, little lad. I love my father for doing this, and to this day these films and many more stay with me as some of my favorites. My favorite sub genre of horror would be the zombie genre. There’s something about the way zombie films reflect society as a dwindling, mindless horde of sheep that I believe appealed to me on a subconscious level as a kid. This look at society hits me at a more conscious level as an adult. Romero, is of course, the god of these films. However, I will watch pretty much any piece of crap Hollywood churns out simply because I cannot refuse an old fashioned zombie story. I would hate to rank all the other sub genre’s because I enjoy them all. Slasher’s, creature feature’s, creepy, killer doll movie’s, whatever. It’s all good to me as long as it’s well done, and sometimes not so well done. I’m not nearly as well versed as other Syndicate writers with horror before 1970. The 70’s, 80’s and 90’s are my favorite decades for horror, but I have seen and loved classics like The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Wolfman, King Kong, and Pyscho. Recently, thanks to The Horror Syndicate, and a good friend of mine, I’ve also been getting more familiar with the Italian horror films that so many seem to love, and that I missed out on as a kid. About me personally: Im the youngest of two boys, born in Mel Rose Park, Illinois, an originally Italian populated suburb West of Chicago. My father, full blooded Polish, and my Mother, full blooded Italian, gave me a wicked temper, and a love for sausage. I grew up playing tons of sports. Baseball is however my favorite. I started playing guitar at age 12. I had my first metal band at age 17, and to this day I still write and record music for fun in my little home studio aka my living room. I’ve never been married, nor have I ever had children, but I’ve been close twice. I graduated from the Joliet Junior College Culinary School in 2011, and have been working as a chef or cook at various levels, and positions in the food industry ever since. In closing, I’ve seen the Exorcist about 167 times, and it keeps getting better every single time I see it!! Not to mention that you’re talking to a dead guy!! My top 10 Favorite Horror in order (subject to change) Jaws Aliens The Texas Chainsaw Massacre The Exorcist Halloween Alien Night of the Living Dead A Nightmare on Elm Street The Thing (Carpenter) The Lost Boys