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.