It Comes At Night

Critics 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.



Total Count: 240


Audience Score

User Ratings: 19,646
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Movie Info

Imagine the end of the world. Now imagine something worse. Award-winning filmmaker Trey Edward Shults follows his incredible debut feature KRISHA with IT COMES AT NIGHT, a horror film following a man (Joel Edgerton) as he learns that the evil stalking his family home may be only a prelude to horrors that come from within. Secure within a desolate home as an unnatural threat terrorizes the world, the tenuous domestic order he has established with his wife and son is put to the ultimate test with the arrival of a desperate young family seeking refuge. Despite the best intentions of both families, paranoia and mistrust boil over as the horrors outside creep ever-closer, awakening something hidden and monstrous within him as he learns that the protection of his family comes at the cost of his soul.

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Critic Reviews for It Comes At Night

All Critics (240) | Top Critics (46) | Fresh (209) | Rotten (31)

Audience Reviews for It Comes At Night

  • Oct 04, 2018
    I'll be honest, I was looking forward to this movie, it was just a movie that intrigued and called to me, as it were. This is prior to my annual horror fest, as this movie has been available on Prime Video for quite some time now. But after having seen Hereditary (which is a masterpiece, I'll just be honest), this was one of the movies that I was hopeful would come close to that. Not that I was expecting it to be as good as Hereditary, but I was expecting a better movie than what I got. I know how this is gonna look, considering how much I defended Hereditary and how it gave you all the pieces for you to piece together. You had to do a lot of the work to piece it together. And, overall, I thought this was a good movie, I really did. It's well made and very well acted. But, if I'm being honest, part of me feels that the film's vagueness was done as a result of the fact that the narrative wasn't exactly grabbing the attention. If you purposely leave things vague, then that's gonna inspire debate among people. But, in my opinion, for this vagueness to work, I think that the world needs to be a little more complete than this movie's world was. While Paul and his family live in an isolated house in the woods, I feel like there's stuff you could that would help flesh out what happened. Maybe some quick news clippings. In many ways, this reminds me of A Quiet Place, which told you very little of the world, but told you enough to where you understood what was going on, why it was happening and why the film in that movie was as worried with security as they were. I'll be straightforward, if you're waiting for them to acknowledge what the 'it' in the title is referring to, then you're just wasting your time. I don't really have a problem with that, since the unseen and the unknown can be just as terrifying as what you do see. And, ultimately, the 'it' is very much that, it is the fear of the unknown. This is why Paul is so concerned with everyone following his strict rules for survival. Hence why the red door is such an important factor in the film and its imagery. The red door represents the outside world, the world that, somehow, has ended up in ruins in some sort of apocalyptic event. But, again, other than this painting called 'The Triumph of Death', which is a metaphor for the apocalyptic event that ended with most of humanity and left some sort of sickness that you never know how you get infected by. Paul and his family know about as much about what is going on as Will and his family, but that's not gonna let it stop him from enforcing his rules. But, again, the movie is never as interesting as it fancies itself to be. It is too wrapped up in its own mythology and mysteries for it to craft, in my opinion, a movie that gets its hooks into you and doesn't let go. That's not to say there aren't some interesting theories surrounding who opened the red door, which is the event that forces the two families apart into a situation where they can't really trust one another. The opening of the red door leads to whatever the sickness is to find itself into the house. But, sadly, to get to this point, the movie makes you sit through about 70 minutes of barely anything. There's some interesting scenes, like Travis' constant nightmares about the red door and the sickness. Because this leads into one of the theories that makes sense to me, seeing as how Travis' nightmares and the score that plays in these scenes plays during the scene where Paul guns down Will and his family, is that this is his worst nightmare come to life. His father gunning down innocent people that are just trying to escape. And, ultimately, that's what I took away from this movie. It's not about the evil that's outside, it's the evil that is inside all of us. Whatever 'it' is is not relevant, because it doesn't matter. The sickness isn't evil, the sickness just exists. It's not a sentient being that can decide if it wants to be good or bad. People, however, can make that decision. And, ultimately, if the movie was focused more on exploring that instead of it being vague about whether or not there's some sort of monster out there, then I feel it would have been a considerably better movie. Because this has one of my favorite elements in horror and that is not really knowing who you can trust. That paranoia and how that paranoia forces people to react in the face of distressing situations. In that regard, this reminds me of Carpenter's The Thing. Because, again, the horror didn't come not from the monster, but about who the monster was, since it could mimic any person and assume its identity. That's real horror, not knowing who you can trust. And Carpenter's The Thing came out in 1982. Six years before I was born. I don't mind the film trying to do something different with that very same concept but, again, it was too far up its own ass to amount to anything great. And, ultimately, prior to the mystery of who opened the door (which has some interesting theories in and of itself), the movie made you sit through quite a lot of nothing. While they tease that the ongoing undercurrent is that Paul doesn't trust Will's family and vice versa, they never really do anything with it and all you're left with is both families interacting with each other, killing time, not really doing anything. And I get that you have to establish a certain closeness between them, to highlight that distrust more when it does present itself fully, there's still a lot of time where nothing really happens. All you're left with is, that's even remotely interesting to me, is Travis' nightmares and how those would end up playing. The whole mystery surrounding who opened the door is resolved fairly easily, in my opinion. The little kid (Andrew) opened the door, came into contact with the dog (who got infected) and he got infected, Travis led Andrew (by hand) to his parents' room and Travis himself got infected after coming into contact with Andrew. There's an interesting theory that says that some marauders took Stanley (Travis' grandpa's dog), infected him with the virus and dropped it off at the home and left the red door open to infect everyone inside. They did it so, eventually, either the people inside would leave or they'd die and they'd come in and take everything valuable. This theory is nice and all, but the red door is locked from the inside. And Travis found it ajar. So somebody had to have opened it from the inside. I suppose the idea could be that the marauders dropped off the dog and Andrew still opened the door by himself. This is an easy way to explain the hole that would be left. But, still, I'm honestly not really that interested in that. Nor am I interested in most of this film's mysteries because, again, the world feels incomplete. I'm certain that parts of this are done by design but, by the same token, that makes it infinitely more difficult to me to invest in this world that you're trying to create. The symbolism and the clues aren't as interesting to figure out as they are in Hereditary, to say the least. I hate to compare two completely different movies, but I feel that it's a fair comparison given the fact that both films are vague about certain things. But, again, in Hereditary's defense, the clues are left there for you to put together and, when you do, the film's events are much more unnerving and disturbing. To the point that you want to watch it again to watch it from a completely different perspective. Knowing the answer to every mystery this movie doesn't really change much, it doesn't change your perception of what you've seen nor does it make you want to watch it again to find out what you may have missed. I'm sorry, yea, but I just didn't find the mysteries surrounding the movie to be that interesting, I just didn't. And the fact of the matter is that, for most of it, the movie is kind of a chore to get through. If I'm being honest, the movie just barely got the rating it did. I just felt like the third act itself was very good and, ultimately, that pushed it over the edge for me. But this movie, if it wasn't for the third act, just didn't do much for me. Like I said, it's well made and solidly acted. Trey Edward Shults clearly has talent, but there's no denying that this film has some major flaws that held it back, like its insistence on being vague and creating mysteries for people to figure out, instead of just telling a simple story about the apocalypse and how a slow-building tension between Paul and Will and lack of trust ended up leading to the deaths of two families. That would have worked so much better to me instead of what we got. I have to be a fair man, as much as I may not have liked most of this movie, I felt that, overall, this was a good movie thanks to a very good and tense final act. But it's a very disappointing good movie to say the least.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Mar 14, 2018
    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
    Eugene B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 07, 2018
    A cold-hearted movie that aims not to please anyone who watches it. It is in fact, a down to the bone emotional and mentally horrific experience that will leave the viewers in dread. It is not a typical film you would see everyday but if you take "It Comes At Night" a shot, it will latch into you.
    John Ross D Super Reviewer
  • Dec 22, 2017
    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.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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