At first, I was conflicted about what I had just seen but now I think I’ve come to a decision. Yeah…this is that kind of movie.
‘It Comes at Night’ starring Joel Edgerton, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Carmen Ejogo, Christopher Abbott and Riley Keough is a movie that is an interesting mixture of horror, thriller, mystery and drama. It follows a family as they struggle to survive in a world where a mysterious disease has wiped out most of the population. When another family comes and stays, an uneasy alliance is formed so that they can protect the house from an outside evil, only for them to realise that the true horror may come from within.
One of the things that really made me keen for ‘It Comes at Night’ was the marketing leading up to it. The poster is amazing and the trailer was one of my favourite trailers to come out this year. I was keen for a horror movie that would be truly terrifying and a new classic. I’m going to tell you right now that this isn’t the movie that was being marketed, it’s not the horror movie that you would expect to see from the brilliant trailer, this is something else. The best way to describe it is that it’s more like an isolated thriller with a huge dose of paranoia thrown in. Basically, if you are going into this thinking it’s going to be a crazy horror movie with a monster in it, you’ll be disappointed.
I may sound like I’m making the movie sound bad but it’s not. It’s quite a surprise if you go into it with no expectations and have little to no idea of what it’s about.
First of all, the acting is extremely good from the very small cast. Joel Edgerton, easily one of the most underrated actors working today, once again proves why he is such a great actor with a chilling performance as the main father. He only wants to do what he thinks is best to keep his family alive, no matter the cost and he is easily the most interesting person in the movie. Kelvin Harrison Jr. is also great as our protagonist of sorts. He doesn’t have a lot of dialogue but he does shine throughout, especially in the very creepy dream sequences that happen throughout. But overall, everyone was equally as good as each other and I couldn’t find a weak link in the acting department.
The cinematography is beautiful in ‘It Comes at Night’ and is some of the best this year. From the dark and menacing woods to the interior of the house, this is a hauntingly beautiful movie and some of the shots will stick to your mind for a long time.
I should also mention the atmosphere which is one of the biggest positives in the movie. It manages to suck you into this dark and disturbing world that feels real and that is truly scary. With some of the stuff that happens throughout, especially within the first few minutes, you’ll feel like you are in this world and it may make you quite uncomfortable.
Okay, there are a couple of problems I did have with ‘It Comes at Night.’ First of all the story is very simple which also leaves you with more questions than answers. I do like movies that don’t have scenes of exposition after exposition to explain what is going on, but here you only have little idea of what is going on and it will frustrate many of you. I do know that director Trey Edward Shults did this on purpose as he wanted you to know as much as the characters in the movie know, but it could have worked a lot better.
(No spoilers, trust me) I should also mention that the ending is a little unsatisfying and doesn’t tie up the story 100% which does leave you on a bit of a downer. I know that some of you may like this but for me, it needed to have a clearer ending and better resolution, not one that seemed slightly rushed.
Overall, ‘It Comes at Night’ is a realistic depiction of a post-apocalyptic world where a mysterious evil lurks in the shadows. Although a simple and unsatisfying story does bring it down, the amazing acting, beautiful directing and cinematography make ‘It Comes at Night’ a must-see for arthouse movie lovers. Also, I do recommend watching it without seeing the trailer, trust me on this.