I checked out Trey Edward Shults' thriller It Comes At Night earlier this week.
A family living in the woods after the end of the world are faced with a decision when a stranger arrives one night.
It Comes At Night is a little tricky for me to write about, as it was extremely well made and acted, but I never truly felt like it got out of second gear. I'm glad I knew nothing about this movie going in, as a look at the trailer infers a payoff that never really transpires. This movie was barely a horror film, leaning more into straight-up drama territory with some genre elements thrown in. I have no problem with that, but some critics have been holding this up to recent horror darlings Get Out, Under The Shadow and The Witch and I don't feel It Comes At Night is anywhere near as resonant as those titles.
I do think It Comes At Night has a lot in common with the latter title though, as it shares a similar forested colour pallete, pace and construct as The Witch. It just didn't payoff as well for me. I am interested to see if the same disconnect between critics and general audiences happens again.
|Joel Edgerton (left) & Kelvin Harrison Jr. in It Comes At Night.|
Even though this movie was fairly straightforward, Shults did some interesting things with the material. I appreciated that very little time was spent on exposition and why the world was in its current state. All the character interactions were spot on, as well. This truly is a tight ensemble piece. I also thought that Shutls' decision to change the aspect ratio in the film's final moments legitimately enhanced his intended feeling of claustrophobia.
I do have to admit it took me a while to get into the movie. It Comes At Night is a very quiet film and it sucks when the asshat behind you not only has the loudest fucking popcorn bag in the world, he also feels the need to crack a beer every thirty minutes. Man, the world is full of shitty people and I hope that when it finally goes tits up, people like him are the first to go.
Anyway, It Comes At Night is a solid movie, but I don't see myself ever revisiting it. Shults definitely has directing chops though, so (like The Witch's Robert Eggers) I'm keen to see where he goes from here.