First Word: It Comes at Night is perhaps the most poorly marketed film I have ever seen. Anybody who entered this film expecting gross scary moments will probably be disappointed and anyone looking for a less horrific film with thought provoking storytelling will probably be scared away by the marketing. One thing is for sure: No one who sees this film is going to have any fun; it is by far one of the bleakest films to be released this year.
Synopsis: Joel Edgerton and Carmen Ejogo are Paul and Sarah, parents to 17 year old Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.). When we first meet them, they are wearing gas masks and conversing with a sick elderly man. This man turns out to be Sarah’s father, who has succumbed to a very contagious illness that has no cure. What they do with Sarah’s father may or may not be the catalyst of the film. The now family of three confront an intruder who has broken into their sealed country home at night. After knocking the man out and tying him up, Paul eventually learns the man’s name is Will (Christopher Abbott). Paul then ties him up out back and interrogates him. But eventually he lets him and his family move into their home, and they form an alliance. But the tension between them never quite dissipates. 6/10
Cinematography: Writer-director Trey Edward Shults, whose 2016 debut feature Krisha turned a Thanksgiving dinner into a claustrophobic domestic nightmare, gets a ton of credit here for creating a mood of exhilarating dread. He’s again dealing with themes of family, trust and protection. The film slowly tightens its grip until its knuckles are white. But it slips at the end after backing into a corner it can’t find its way out of. 7/10
Characterization: It Comes at Night is a character study of the human condition. Some moments of this film spent a great deal of time in trite dialogue. However, It Comes at Night does take its time and develops all of its characters. 7/10
Conclusion: It Comes at Night is a perplexing film. It is a film that will certainly have a niche market. The film is neither completely horror nor completely thriller. Simply put It Comes at Night was a decent film however not at all what I expected.
Final Score: 6.7/10