Chris’ Movie Review
It Comes At Night
Rating: 8/10 (Good)
Recommendation: Pay The 8
I’m doing my summer trips. As a truck driver, I’m never for sure if I’m going to be able to see a movie on time. With that being said, I’ll try my best to at least get to one of the main films out that weekend. Yesterday was an exception because I had a full day to hit up the theater but that isn’t always the case. Also, the reviews may come very sporadically but if I see the movie, it will be reviewed.
It Comes At Night stars Joel Edgerton (Paul), Kelvin Harrison Jr. (Travis), Chris Abbott (Will), Carmen Ejogo (Sarah), and Riley Keough (Kim).
Paul, Travis, and Sarah all live in the woods together. No one is around them for miles. They are hunkered down in a house with food, water, and other supplies. The reason? Let’s leave it at that.
It Comes At Night has a plot that I don’t want to discuss. The trailer for this movie is perfect in the sense that it doesn’t give anything away…except the wrong perception. The preview toys with you and the film does the exact same thing throughout.
For starters, all the actors did great here. Especially Joel and Kelvin. This cast brings out the tension and human nature in the moment, perfectly. There are so many tough decisions for these characters to make and each actor portrays each action extremely well. They really suck the audience into the film and make you feel like you’re there with them through these moments as well.
Minor Spoilers! (Not the ending though. Just plot elements.)
Another great part is the unknown. The trailer gives you almost no information to go on and the film takes that idea and runs with it. The characters in this movie have no clue what’s going on in the outside world. All they know is that there’s a virus and it contaminates humans and maybe even animals. But the perfect part is, the audience doesn’t know what’s going on either.
This movie doesn’t give answers. It only makes more questions. And, this time around, it works. The whole set up is that a family lives in the woods alone. Their Grandpa grows ill and has to be put down (That’s the opening 5 minutes by the way). But this family is disconnected with the rest of the world. They don’t how the disease works or how many people have it and so on. So the questions raised throughout the film are totally justified because they can’t answer any of them for us either.
Along with that, the atmosphere is perfect. The true horror is not knowing what’s going on around the world or even in your own back yard. The woods is always a good setup for scary movies and it works here as a psychological thriller as well. They can’t overlook a valley or an open field. They can just see trees and they never know what’s hiding behind them.
Now this film does come with some faults. The first is the dream sequences. Travis has a bunch of these throughout the movie and they leave you slightly confused at times. Some seem to be foreshadowing and some seem to be trying to send a message of sorts. The dreams can mess with the film in the sense that you’re not always sure what’s real and what isn’t…. Which can work slightly in this movie’s favor too.
There are parts where the dreams intertwine with the film and they make you question what’s real? Usually these are done as a “fake out” but here, they’re more there to set the mood and make the viewer wonder what’s really going on. Now, this does get a little irritating, especially with the ending, but some of these dreams work well and some don’t. A lot of this will really depend on how you look at the movie in general. But speaking of the ending….
Okay, so maybe it was just the audience I was with but a lot of us seemed a little jolted/confused with the finale. The conclusion of this film just ends. Which is odd because a lot of the movie is build up and tension based but here, it just sort of gives you what you need and leaves.
I’m not going to exactly say what happens but I think the reason we were a bit lost was because there wasn’t an answer for any of what we just saw and we really wanted some explanations for what we witnessed. Because there is one moment in the film that still baffles me.
Again, I’m not giving away specifics but there is a scene that just doesn’t make any sense. Unless I missed it or this could happen, this scene potentially answers the movie’s ending or makes it even more confusing. But I’ll let you make your own opinion on that and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about when you get there.
It Comes At Night is a movie that questions humanity and how far you’d go to protect your family. It also provides fear and tension of the unknown perfectly.
The dream sequences can get a little muddled at times. The ending might be confusing. And there’s one moment that needs explaining (Unless I missed it). But the actors are wonderful, the atmosphere of unknown keeps you on edge, and the plot is compelling from start to finish as you try to figure out what’s going on.
This movie may not fit everyone’s needs but give it a chance. You might surprise yourself with how differently the film makes you think and feel.
As usual, thanks for reading!