It Comes at Night
It Comes at Night
2017. Directed by Trey Edward Shults.
By Livia Peterson
I love the independent production and distribution company A24; founded by Daniel Katz, David Fenkel, and John Hodges. A24 is a force to be reckoned with, despite releasing some disappointments as of late such as “Free Fire” (2017) and “The Lovers” (2017) that pale in comparison to the likes of “The Spectacular Now” (2013), “A Most Violent Year” (2015), “Ex Machina” (2015), and “20th Century Women” (2017). Long story short, the studio has provided some of my favorite films in recent memory. It is an understatement to proclaim how much I adore A24.
“It Comes At Night” is the second feature film by Trey Edward Shults (“Krisha”). The story follows Sarah (Carmen Ejogo), Paul (Joel Edgerton), and Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) who welcome Kim (Riley Keough), Will (Christopher Abbot), and Andrew (Griffin Robert Faulkner) into their home while a mysterious plague ravages humanity.
It is always exciting to witness A24’s films due to their consistency and utter brilliance (there are more minor disappointments than major letdowns). I stepped out of my comfort zone to view “It Comes At Night”, as even semi horror films scare the living daylights out of me.
Anchored by understated and powerful performances, “It Comes At Night” relies on eerie atmosphere, tension, and suspense. There are at least four “jump scares” if you have a low terror tolerance. (I jumped when something bumped.) Shults is a master at setting the tone – the initial frame allows you anticipate what lies ahead and the final frame may piss you off.
You must read in between the lines to completely understand and appreciate the narrative. The It is not literal. The It is metaphorical – the family surviving the fear, the paranoia, and the plague. Therefore, “It Comes At Night” surprisingly taps into the zeitgeist – you may dread the United States’ future under the current administration, and this film expressed my beliefs and concerns in a politically subdued manner.
Intelligent, psychological thriller films are rare. With that said, I urge you to seek out “It Comes At Night”. B