It Comes At Night (2017)
Critic Consensus: It Comes at Night makes lethally effective use of its bare-bones trappings while proving once again that what's left unseen can be just as horrifying as anything on the screen.
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Critic Reviews for It Comes At Night
A fairly straightforward post-apocalyptic story, tightly focused on human torment, but suffused with surprising, undeniably atmospheric sights and sounds.
Edgerton gives another masterly minimalist performance, and Ejogo and Harrison are preternaturally alert.
Scored intensely and photographed vividly, the electric film imagines a small slice of doomsday with horrific believability.
It's not a sexy apocalypse, with a disease that transforms everyone into really cool zombies. It's just death. And it's not an easily managed "Doomsday Preppers" scenario solved by bulk foods from Jim Bakker infomercials. It's just doom.
Midway through "It Comes at Night" you might wonder where it's headed, and it seems Shults may have asked himself the same question. It's a breathless thriller that will leave you gasping until it finally runs out of air itself.
Audience Reviews for It Comes At Night
A combination of nerve-racking sound, uncertainty and paranoia builds up what seems to be a grounded take on a pandemic-like survival. It Comes at Night is able to use the aspect of internal horrors and panic to develop a sense of unnerving suspense that is for the most part effective especially in the third act. 4/1/5
For anyone who has ever seen The Walking Dead, this film won't be very original in terms of how it depicts paranoia and distrust between strangers in a post-apocalyptic scenario, but it compensates with a tense and unsettling mystery that keeps us on the edge of our seats.
Like an earlier harbinger of the potential pitfalls of mother! marketing your movie as something it's not, the vaguely apocalyptic drama It Comes at Night is a paranoid thriller that is so bleak and absent resolution that you'll wonder why anyone bothered. It's not a bad film, and actually writer/director Trey Edward Shults has a knowing command on how to raise and develop tension with very precise camerawork and visual composition. The slow inspection of offscreen noise is still ready to build tension. The story has promise. Joel Edgerton is the father of a family trying to eek out an existence after the spreading of a deadly plague. He has a strict series of guidelines to protect his family members and keep them secure. This is put into jeopardy when he meets another family and invites them into his home. The rest of the film follows the slow dismantling of trust and the rise in suspicion and how it ruins both families. That's essentially the movie. There is no "it" of the It Comes at Night. The post-apocalyptic element is at best tertiary to the plot, and the titular warning seems odd considering sickness can arrive at all hours. I think the reason audiences seemed to froth wildly at the mouth over this movie is due to its grossly misleading marketing. I re-watched the trailer and all of the supernatural imagery, which is extensively highlighted, is from dream sequences, and one dream sequence within a dream sequence. There's a moment where the grandfather's dog runs off into the woods at barks at an unseen force. You hear strange sounds but you never see anything, and this becomes just another unresolved, underdeveloped element. This is more a Twilight Zone parable about the destructive nature of man. The look of the film is moody, the performances are good, but I felt underwhelmed by the end and questioned the point of it all. It Comes at Night is okay. I can't see what people loved and I can't see what people hated, though I can see more of the aversion. Nate's Grade: C+
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