Hello, fellow moviegoers!
It Comes at Night is directed by Trey Edward Shults, and it stars Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbot, Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Carmen Ejogo. It tells the story of a family living in a house in the woods, during what appears to be an outbreak of some kind. They've boarded up the house and never leave without wearing gloves and gas masks to avoid getting sick. They soon come in contact with another desperate family seeking shelter, and tensions arise as they're not sure who they can trust.
It Comes at Night is easily one of the best films of the year so far, and I believe it will still be in that conversation six months from now. This film perfectly utilizes the idea that what scares us most is what we don't understand. It Comes at Night makes the brilliant decision to hide what it is that is happening in the world. The characters in the story don't know what's going on and neither does the audience. This puts the audience in the same situation as the characters, and they become much more relatable and developed because of it. In addition to that, the story is told through the perspective of the son in the main family, which gives the audience yet another lens to view the film through.
Despite the audience not really knowing what there is to be afraid of, this film creates massive amounts of tension that keeps people on the edge of their seat. Multiple times while watching this film, I found myself being saying the cliche phrases "Don't go in there" or "Don't open that door". The anxiety that this film creates in the audience is inescapable. The film's clever use of dream sequences also makes you question what is real and what is not. It Comes at Night does something that is almost impossible to do. It uses confusion to its advantage. The situation of the film confuses the audience, but it does so in a way that adds even more to the already immense tension.
One thing that should be addressed is the divide in the reaction to It Comes at Night between critics and audiences. Currently, the film is at a 86% critic approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, however, it is only at 44% audience approval. It's a very similar situation to last year's A24 thriller, The Witch. This is being largely contributed to the film's marketing. Many people are entering this film expecting a crazy, more traditional scary movie. That's not what It Comes at Night is. In fact, I would say this movie is more of a family drama that has some thriller elements. The movie explores how this family deals with the situation they are in, how they adapt to the world that they live in, and what they're willing to do to keep each other safe. As far as story and character building go, this is a film to behold.
The performances in the movie only highlight the film even more. Joel Edgerton gave an absolutely fantastic performance. I would go as far to say that this is one of the best performances I've ever seen him give. The supporting cast in the film was also very good. Christopher Abbott plays the father of the other desperate family, and he played his role very well. Just like the main characters, the audience isn't sure if he can be trusted, and he played that up really well. There was something that he brought to that character that just made the audience uneasy, and it was fantastic. Kelvin Harrison Jr. plays the son through whose perspective the audience experiences the film through. I've never seen him in anything before, but he gave (surprise surprise) a great performance in this movie. He doesn't have a lot of lines, but he's really good at showing emotion in his face. Just from a look, the audience can tell exactly how he's feeling, and when he does speak he delivers his lines very well.
The real star of this film is the writer/director Trey Edward Shults. This is only his second feature film, and he knocked it out of the park. This film, from start to finish, feels painstakingly crafted. It feels like every shot was carefully gone over to make sure they were exactly what Shults wanted them to be. Each scene plays into the next organically, and the dreams sequences felt very natural to the story that was told. It Comes at Night feels like a film you could watch and analyze time and time again and still find new things every time. The more I think about this movie, the better it gets. Even the title of the movie is more than it appears to be at first glance, which is a testament to the amazing attention to detail from Shults.
If you go into It Comes at Night and take it for what it is, it's easily one of the best films of the year. As of now, I'd put it in my top five, and I'd be surprised if it wasn't on my top ten by the end of the year. The film is an in-depth family drama that is set in a scary movie, and it works incredibly well. The performances across the board were solid, but the real star is director Trey Edward Shults. I would very highly recommend It Comes at Night. I'll definitely be seeing this one again.
So what did you think of It Comes at Night? Did you love it as much as I did? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter! Don't forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and other miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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