It Comes at Night Movie Review
Written by Ali Chappell
Released by A24 Films
Written and directed by Trey Edward Shults
2017, 91 minutes, Rated R
Theatrically released on June 9th, 2017
Joel Edgerton as Paul
Christopher Abbott as Will
Carmen Ejogo as Sarah
Riley Keough as Kim
Kelvin Harrison Jr. as Travis
I went into It Comes at Night not knowing what to expect. Director and writer Trey Edward Shults knows how to bring a hard-hitting suspenseful film that leaves you unsettled. The premise is that it takes place not long after something horrible happens to the world, and people are forced to stay inside at night. There is some sort of virus that attacks the body, turns your eyes black, covers your body in gross boils and lesions, and forces you to cough up blood. Super icky. The focus is one family who are doing the best they can with the hand they are dealt. However, a man breaks into their home one day and instead of hurting him, they allow him and his family to join them. Obvious reason being, it’s nice to be nice and it’s better protection in numbers. But things go south quite quickly.
Spoiler Alert: Joel Edgerton is a baseball cap wearing, beard sporting, gun-wielding babe and will forever be my future husband (in another life for a number of reasons. Mainly we don’t know each other...yet).
For those of you who know me truly, I fucking love forests. I chose to live in one for months and I wasn’t homeless. It sounds like I was homeless, but I wasn’t. I swear. Forrest noises are terrifying when you have no idea what you are actually hearing, is that person or an animal or just the wind? The forest adds to the isolation that you already feel with this film.
As per usual, Joel Edgerton kills it. He is a force to be reckoned with in this film. He has this intensity about him that does not compare to anyone else in the overall story. He’s a helpful, kind man, but when it comes to protecting his family, it doesn’t matter what he has to do. I want to give a shout out to Kelvin Harrison Jr., who really holds his own in this movie. Every emotion he has is painted across his face. The fact that he doesn’t talk all that much, but you know how badly he is traumatized, is amazing.
I love this film. It’s well done; it made me feel physically uneasy but also completely involved. I don’t even mind that it is a slow burn. The fact that it does such a good job with the small cast. You can feel the insecurities and the tension. It’s almost as though you are trapped in this house with them.
By the end of the film, I felt claustrophobic. Like the walls of the theatre were closing in and it caused me to feel a bit panicky. Which normally I don’t feel in movies. When we left, we discussed it on the way home and even did a little internet research and in an interview the director states that he changed the aspect ratio of the film near the end to really add an extra bit of uneasiness to the audience. A trick that truly worked on me. For the most part, the film was made in 2.40:1 with a spherical lens. However, they slowly move into 2.75:1 by the end of the film so subtly that you barely notice it but feel the tension.
If you plan on seeing It Comes at Night, watch it in the theater to get the full impact. It is worth it.