It Comes At Night


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

It Comes At Night
"The fascination of the film is the atmosphere created and the danger that fills every living minute"

What comes? Death? The horror! The horror!

And what about the day? What happens there? Survival rituals. Living with paranoia.

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What is life worth if there is no life? Only fear. And grief.

Imagine a post apocalyptic moment, like The Road in a wood. Everything has gone - laws, governance, community. The sun shines, the moon beams, days pass, nights linger. Out there, beyond the eye's scope, is the enemy and the enemy is disease, a contagious plague. It could be zombies, it could be aliens, but no, it's in the air, it's on the breath, a killer virus.

They wear gas masks.

In the cabin three people remain, father, mother, son. They have gasoline for burning bodies. They have paraffin for the lamps. They have shotguns and ammo. They have food although you don't know where it comes from. They have each other. Father can be violent. Mother is traumatised. The teenage kid has nightmares and is always afraid.

This sounds like the most depressing movie ever made. The fact that it isn't compliments writer/director Trey Edward Shults and the commitment of the actors.

The uncompromising nature of the script by which the audience must fill in the gaps to make sense of things works in its favour - no explanation, no apology, only images that do damage to the feel good factor.

The opposite is not necessarily negative because the fascination of the film is the atmosphere created and the danger that fills every living minute.

Watching these people behave like caged animals has its limitations. You start asking questions and finding flaws in the invented reality. Suddenly the safety of their locked down existence is compromised by the arrival of another, with a family and a story that may, or may not, be true.


If fear is like blood it splatters across the walls of perception. There is nowhere to run.

Reviewed on: 07 Jul 2017
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It Comes At Night packshot
Three people struggling to survive in a post apocalyptic forest find themselves severely tested when a young family seeks refuge with them.
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Director: Trey Edward Shults

Writer: Trey Edward Shults

Starring: Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo, Riley Keough, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Griffin Robert Faulkner, David Pendleton, Mikey, Chase Joliet, Mick O'Rourke

Year: 2017

Runtime: 91 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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