Secure within a desolate home as an unnatural threat terrorizes the world, a man has established a tenuous domestic order with his wife and son. Then a desperate young family arrives seeking refuge.
Tastes change with time and age. What I loved in horror as a teen is a far cry for what sates me nowadays. There are some genres thought that remain as appealing now as they did then. Which do you ask? End-of-the-world movies! I suppose the technical term would be post-apocalyptic survival horror; a genre with many sub-genres under its umbrella. Zombies, viruses, aliens, nuclear war; the ways we could all suddenly be wiped out seem pretty endless.
To pull off a good survival horror, you need three things: A big budget, good actors with beards, and a concept that hasn't yet been bled to death. Okay, maybe more than three things. There needs to be that existential dread, the constant fear of not knowing what comes next, and the struggle to live on anyway; the tenacity and will that man has to continue to live no matter the odds, chances, or inevitabilities.
Not only does this film meet all requirements, It Comes At Night is a visual treat. The cinematography is gorgeous. There is such detail in the composition of the shots as well as great attention to every detail. The aesthetics are an art form, with some shots barely a second in length yet containing abundant detail. The psychological components are visually displayed through carefully nuanced elements that do a wonderful job purveying the downward spiral into delirium.
With any post-apocalyptic survival film, atmosphere is paramount. It Comes At Night understands this and plays the game like a pro. Tension, angst, mistrust, and fear make for an unsettling journey, especially when we are constantly blind to whatever the actual evil really is. The film works all these dimensions superbly all the way to the last act.
This film is dynamite. It deserves your attention. It's a gloves-off horror that pushes boundaries and makes you question your sensibilities. There are no jump scares, clowns, or witches — we don't even get to know what caused all of this drama in the first place. For the film's entirety, we are left in the dark as to what cataclysmic event has ended society; all we know is that folks get “sick.— How the sickness is spread or what it actually does is, for the most part, a mystery — all we know is that folks usually die within a day. What we get to experience is how genuinely good people can't trust other genuinely good people, especially when family is involved.
Now, while I wholeheartedly recommend this film, don’t expect to be going into a “something in the woods” or “zombie apocalypse” kind of film. This is very much a slower paced, psychological-horror that is very much going to stab you in the heart. Catch the trailer below.
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.