It Comes at Night (2017)

it comes at night poster 2017 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Good set-up, good cast, good looking

Doesn't find the balance between unsolved mystery and answers

Movie Info

Movie Name:  It Comes at Night

Studio:  Animal Kingdom

Genre(s):  Horror/Suspense/Mystery

Release Date(s):  April 29, 2017 (Premiere)/June 9, 2017 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

it comes at night gas masks

Can’t be too careful in an outbreak

Something has happened and a sickness is spreading across the land.  Paul (Joel Edgerton), Sarah (Carmen Ejogo), and their son Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) have survived in the wilderness by isolating themselves from others.  After the death of Sarah’s father, a man named Will (Christopher Abbott) shows up claiming that he, his wife Kim (Riley Keough), and their young son Andrew (Griffin Robert Faulkner) need shelter.  Unsure if they can be trusted, Paul cautiously accepts the family…but when strange occurrences begin to happen, Paul questions if he’s made a mistake.

Written and directed by Trey Edward Shults, It Comes at Night is a psychological thriller.  The movie premiered at the Overlook Film Festival in April of 2017 and received wide release on June 9, 2017.  It received fairly positive reviews from critics and was a moderate box office success.

I heard a lot of good things about It Comes at Night before it was released.  There have been a number of solid horror films in recent years that are released and surprise viewers and critics, and I had hoped It Comes at Night would be one.  While I don’t think it is a bad movie, it never rises to the level I had hoped because of the structure of the film.

it comes at night gradfather disease david pendleton

Gramps isn’t looking too good

The movie is set up as a horror/mystery.  The viewer is kept unaware of what is really going on.  Early on in the film, I had the suspicion that it would be a movie that doesn’t really provide answers.  While that sometimes is good, it can also be frustrating if the movie doesn’t seem to give enough.  It Comes at Night gives up mystery after mystery in the movie:  Is Will lying? Who opened the door?  What killed the dog?  It really doesn’t answer any of these questions because it is more about the psychological horror and symbolism…but a few bones would have been nice to give viewers more to debate.

With a psychological horror movie, you need strong actors and the cast is pretty good in that sense.  Joel Edgerton and Christopher Abbott face off through the whole movie while Kelvin Harrison Jr. struggles to find where his loyalties are.  Unfortunately, I don’t think any of the female characters get their due and it would have been nice to see how they both lived in the condition.

it comes at night red door

Who opened the door?

Visually, the movie is good.  The director (also the writer) listed The Shining and Night of the Living Dead as inspiration and you can see it.  I could see this movie being shot in black-and-white and it being effective since a lot of the horror is part of the lost nature of the characters and the film emphasizes it with the weird housing set-up.

It Comes at Night is pretty divisive.  The movie has a lot going for it but with a problematic storytelling method, it is isn’t for everyone especially if you are expecting a hard core horror film.  You won’t get any answers from It Comes at Night, and you have to go in expecting none…if you do that, you might enjoy the film more.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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