It Comes At Night Reviews
There is a certain beauty in ambiguity, especially in thought-provoking horror films but there is also the idea of "too much of a good thing can ultimately turn out to be bad". I think that's something that happened in the case of "It Comes At Night".
The film is flooded in questions, with many of them left unanswered & completely up to the viewers' judgment to decide which is which. Leaving a level of openness to interpretation is good & prompts viewers' to actively engage with the narrative but leaving that level of space between your viewership & your narrative creates other results. Rightly so, people might think that even the creators themselves have no answers to their own raised questions.
(Updated from 18/03/2018)
Cuando esperabas que It Comes at Night asuma un perfil introspectivo de los instintos humanos en condiciones extremas, se convierte en una conclusiˇn desencajada del potencial que tenÝa.
The movies central question is "How far would you go for your family" which can lead to great things...the problem is the movie never let's up with that question. It shows you in neon lights the conclusion it's working towards.
The strength of this film is the acting of the lead actors especially Joel Edgerton and Kelvin Harrison Jr. Joel is very believable as a father who has watched his world turn upside down and he has had to forsake the world to protect his family. His performance is measured and I feel the inner workings of his mind as his paranoia grows with each successive event that unfolds. Family comes first in this movie and you get to understand his methods although sometimes they can be extreme. One thing I have always enjoyed about Joel is his ability to make his characters feel real and as someone who existed. I have never seen Kelvin Harrison Jr in a movie before but I will quickly search for more projects involved with him. His performance is haunting and gave me some chills as I watched him deal with some terrifying night terrors.
Dilemmas such as getting supplies affected by an apocalypse and the safety of being vulnerable to another family presents an uneasy central question. One question is raised regarding what we will do for family and the extent of measures we would take to protect our family. This question is posed to the viewer and some of the darker areas of human nature. This area is pretty gray as we can sympathize with the plight of a family trying to survive in the difficult time. However, we can also see the danger might be more imagined than real existing outside of the home.
Most of the setting takes place in the family's home and so the camera is trained on corners and tight spaces. This made me think about the claustrophobic angles I have enjoyed in Kubrick's work. The camera is effective making my chest tighten wondering what is going to happen next. I enjoyed the sense of being there with the characters and made the experience more gripping.
One knock against this movie will be the ambiguity. There is not much known about the sickness or the apocalypse for that matter. A little more explanation could have helped the movie. I was curious if my theories were right but I enjoyed viewing the movie for a second time to see if my theories proved correct. I suppose the power of the movie is you want to view it again to see if there is something you missed. It is quite possible the sickness was more about human nature than a real sickness. The ending is also left to discussion although you can make your judgments. I believe a different ending would have made a stronger statement. I enjoy coming up with my own theories but I think a clearer ending could make the experience more enjoyable in this case.
Another knock against the movie will be the lack of scares. Most of the film was not very scary although my chest tightened with the camera angles. Instead, the picture works itself underneath your skin but I only felt small chills. I wanted to be scared more when I see a thriller although it plays more as a slow-burner.
Overall, I think the movie was well-made and thrilling in the tight spaces it resided in. The performances of the lead characters were taut with tension and you felt these characters were living this closed off, paranoia drenched life. Camera work is very strong putting you into the movie and feeling some of anxiety by the characters. I really enjoyed this movie despite some of its shortcomings and still feel myself thinking about the movie after the film ended. Tough questions are asked and you find yourself wondering what you just viewed on the big screen.