It Comes At Night is Trey Edward Shults’ new psychological horror revolving around a family living in a post apocalyptic disease ravaged America. It stars Joel Edgerton as Paul, who lives with wife and son, and must learn to adapt when they encounter another family.
A lot of the marketing for the film really pitched a film about the people in the house trying to survive from some kind of external force, and the title of the film would suggest that as well. However the actual film is nothing to do with this. What It Comes At Night is truly about is the mistrust and internalised horror that can come out from people, particularly in a situation like this. This is explored in a brilliant and interesting way, but it may disappoint many people who were expecting a different film from the marketing. It may also frustrate those who want It Comes At Night to nicely wrap all the questions that it asks, because it isn’t a film that is going to spoon feed you answers.
It Comes At Night is certainly not an easy film to watch. Shults ramps up the tension right from the start, and this almost never let’s out for the entire hour and a half run time. There is barely moment for the audience to catch its breath, with only one or two scenes in the entire film offering some respite, although it’s not long until it has you right back on edge. The only real shame is the use of a few dream sequences that one of the characters has. These are responsible for a lot of the horrifying imagery that was seen in the trailer, and that has obviously misled some people. And it can feel a little out of character place in the film.
It might be a little too much at times, but the film is held together by wonderful leading performance from Joel Edgerton, as well as the rest of the cast. He plays Paul as such a relatable person that you really feel as though you are in those scenes, and you really feel the huge tension. Kelvin Harrison Jr. as Travis, Paul’s son, is equally as terrific, and the other character that we spend the most time with. He is far less stoic than Edgerton, and does a brilliant job of selling the horror of the situation.
If you can see It Comes At Night without seeing any of the marketing for the film then do. It will certainly help. If you go into this expecting a straight up horror film then you’re going to be disappointed. Instead It Comes At Night is far more of a thriller with a near constant heightened mood. It’s an experience to see this one in cinemas, and you not be able to breath until it’s done. But it’s certainly a film worth watching to make your own mind up on.