It Comes at Night (2017) Review

Director: Trey Edward Shults

Starring: Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo, Riley Keough, Kelvin Harrison Jr.

Rating: R


Imagine the end of the world. Now imagine something worse. Award-winning filmmaker Trey Edward Shults follows his incredible debut feature Krisha with It Comes at Night, a horror film following a man (Joel Edgerton) as he learns that the evil stalking his family home may be only a prelude to horrors that come from within. Secure within a desolate home as an unnatural threat terrorizes the world, the tenuous domestic order he has established with his wife and son is put to the ultimate test with the arrival of a desperate young family seeking refuge. Despite the best intentions of both families, paranoia and mistrust boil over as the horrors outside creep ever-closer, awakening something hidden and monstrous within him as he learns that the protection of his family comes at the cost of his soul.

Plot from Rotten Tomatoes

What The Film Did Well:

One of the best parts of this movie was the acting, especially from Joel Edgerton who plays Paul. I have always though Edgerton brings a lot to the roles he gets in the past and he does the same here. Each one of his decisions throughout the movie brings more drama and suspense to the screen. Unlike other horror or thriller movies where the main character acts like a schmuck the whole film making questionable decisions; Edgerton and the rest of the cast make logical choices throughout the movie.

It Comes at Night is filled with suspense from the very first scene until the credits begin to roll. With each new scene, everything from the plot to the score to the acting comes together in order to build an everlasting suspense that carries from one plot point to another. The suspense in It Comes at Night grips you and holds your attention throughout the entirety of the movie. It is safe to say that It Comes at Night does not lack intensity and dull moments are a scarcity.

The score in this movie superb. It’s not a score that will win any awards, but for this type of movies, it fits so well. The music that is mixed with the suspenseful movements really helps draw the audience in and helps build to potentially climatic moments throughout the movie. The music alone makes the movie feel like a movie done by Hitchcock if he made a horror – thriller in the year 2017. There was just something about the score, mixed with how this was shot that made it feel like a more old school horror movie which was aesthetically pleasing.

What The Film Didn’t Do Well:

There were a few things in It Comes at Night did that wasn’t necessarily “bad”, but took away from the movie and is what makes the movie just good, instead of great which it could have been. From the beginning of the movie, the characters’ motives are not always clear. The characters in this movie have motives that change throughout the movie, which although it adds a sense of realism to the movie and the events throughout; it makes that characters and their individual story lines difficult to follow at times. To some, this will not be considered a negative and they will love it, for me I just was not the biggest fan.

The biggest issue I had with this movie was the anti-climactic nature that occurs throughout the movie. The suspense is great throughout the movie, but it never really leads to anything. This takes a lot away from the movie and makes the movie feel empty whenever there’s a string of suspenseful events that never lead to a big reveal or event. The entire movie makes you think there’s going to be this big “ah-ha” moment or even, but unfortunately this movie never does evolve into that. This could all be the result of me expecting something a little more or even the marketing for this movie. Through the trailers, it made it seem that there was going to be a big horror movie reveal and because it never gets to that point I felt disappointed.

Final Thoughts

Overall It Comes at Night gets a 7.5/10. It is a good movie, but is a few moments away from being a great suspenseful thriller. There is nothing that really will stick with me when I think about this movie, but that doesn’t make it a bad movie. It is overall a fun watch and kept me entertained throughout the whole movie, but I just didn’t love it as much I wished I had. Just because it was not what I and others expected from it, does not make it a bad movie or takes away from the entertainment, the curveball it throws at you adds to the entertainment factor of the movie. It brings some very interesting and new cinematography methods when it comes to dialogue that I had not seen before, but was very effective. It is a different and fresh type of horror movie in an era of good and at times great horror movies, but just misses the mark in a few places. 

It Comes At Night


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