Film of the Day (10/18/18): It Comes At Night

 

Written By Trey Edward Shults
Directed By Trey Edward Shults

The best scary movies, in my estimation, master the art of tension and let you use your imagination to fill in the most frightening blanks. This one, a post-apocalyptic survival tale of two families in one house, does exactly that, and to chilling effect. The entire 90 minute runtime you feel like you’re having an acute asthma attack, your breath always just barely out of reach. Shults hits all the right notes to deliver something truly scary without supernatural elements, relying on the horrors of human nature itself to do the job. Joel Edgerton does an impeccable job here, turning in a great performance as a man who will do anything to protect his family from an unnamed event that Shults lets us imagine for ourselves. You feel for him, because in this scenario you wouldn’t trust anyone else either and paranoia would take over, potentially leading to disastrous results. It is a bleak picture of a world we can all too easily imagine, which makes the central concept almost as scary as the nightmare sequences. The title itself sounds like a reference to some sort of outside force, but perhaps it is meant to speak on our own personal fears and how they grow and fester at night time. The film is photographed marvelously, using its limited space very well to convey the ever-growing sense of dread that surrounds the house. Even the woods around them, open and free as they are, feel constricting and limited. The score is fantastic in the same sense, working perfectly with the imagery to make you squirm in your seat as you await what is to come. October is the perfect time for a film like this. The problem is, now I have to turn the lights off and go to bed…

One comment

  1. I didn’t pay much attention to this movie when I watched it, in fact I only watched it since it’s A24 and they always make HITS. Your review makes me want to revisit it, so I think I will. Thanks!

    Like

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