It Comes at Night Review: A Real Life Monster Movie
A24 has been one of those studios that has hit the indie film scene by storm. The studio doesn’t always make masterpieces, but what they do achieve is start conversations among film buffs that are timeless. It Comes at Night is one of those films, one that will achieve the same conversation and dividing that last year’s The Witch continues to have. A film where answers aren’t what audiences will get, but the journey these characters go on is what carries the unconventional horror flick.
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.
It Comes at Night urges the attention of its audience by using subtle details and atmosphere to create a sense of dread. All we know is an audience is that a play has infected, I disease which takes 24 hours to infect the human body entirely. This disease turns your eyes black, act inhuman, I’m on other things.
The constant theme throughout the story is fear and one’s humanity. The question of can you still retain your own humanity while staying alive. I will say is the atmospheric tension and over-abundance of terror is present throughout the 90-minute run time. Just because the run time is only an hour and a half doesn’t mean that this is an easy watch, far from it. In my screening alone I saw several audience members walk out, just as I did with last year’s The Witch. This is the definition of a slow burn and if those teenage audiences are expecting jump scares and gore, you’ve walked into the wrong movie.
Joel Edgerton is an actor who never ceases to amaze me. His rain is stellar and almost schizophrenic to make sure he brings to the character of the hall is expertly portrayed. He’s unpredictable, kindhearted but also vicious and intimidating when need be. If I’m being frank Paul is the only character that we root for throughout the film, everyone else just feel so “meh.”
The film plays out more as a David Lynch character study than a horror film. Writer/director Trey Edward Shults goes down the “less is more” road rather than the “show don’t tell” one. This can be really frustrating as a viewer considering how many questions are left open and how many answers we don’t get at all. At first, I admit I was not feeling the vibe of It Comes at Night. Then I started to think about it more and it began to still with me, much like the virus in the film itself.
What I felt was the strongest ass back here where the dream sequences and how Schults decided to change aspect ratios once entering these terrifying lucid scenes of terror. He only uses music when we are in these dreams, making it that more terrifying and uncomfortable, as we see the scene play out through the characters eyes.
When we as a human race or put in extreme and survivalist situations, how we act in return is the scariest aspect of it all. Yeah, this may seem like a cop out, and I can see how many won’t like how this highly anticipated horror film plays out. If you walk up hating it, I would completely understand, as I would if you came out absolutely loving it.
I feel somewhere in between. I would definitely recommend it comes at night for fans of The Witch and The Others. It’s been around today since I’ve seen the film and it has both grown on me and bothered me to the point where I can’t help but recommend it. It’s a story that gets under your skin, put yourself in these real life situations and makes you ask questions about your own humanity and what you would do to survive.
It Comes at Night is playing in select theaters now.