It Comes At Night is a complicated film to review. The latest horror film produced by A24 is a technically sound film due to its cinematography. Director Trey Edward Shults beautifully captures intense moments and suspense by using different lenses and playing with aspect ratios. Yet the actually story in the film leaves a lot to be desired.
Where It Comes At Night suffers is in its writing. First, it is being marketed as a monster/horror film and it isn't. The title of the film suggests some creature or manifestation showing up. This type of false marketing is frustrating for audiences as they will spend most of the film with an expectation that is never fulfilled. But worse than false advertising, this film falls into the same problem that many "Art House" films do: It's completely unfulfilling as a form of entertainment.
Trey Shults admits to purposely leaving the audience without answers and while that can sometimes be acceptable for some films, it doesn't work here. The film drops us into a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by some mysterious illness. We aren't given many details in terms of time, place or even the specifics of the virus. All of that is fine for this film. But when it comes to the interactions of the two families in this film and the rules the film establishes up front, everything breaks down.
Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott and Kelvin Harrison Jr. all put in pretty solid performances. Harrison is particularly a standout as the 17 year old Travis, who seems to be the focus of much of this film. But their acting plus the suspense and tense brought on by the camera work and music, just aren't enough to overcome a pretty awful script. This leaves the film as being an enjoy film to admire for its technical aspects but pretty frustrating to watch as a form of entertainment.
To get a full non-spoiler breakdown of this film, stream/download our review.
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