Directed by Trey Edward Shults
“It Comes at Night” is a somber dystopian thriller expeditiously written and directed by Trey Edward Shults, an emerging young director who already gave us “Krisha”, one of the most touching, personal, and rawest dramas released last year.
In his new mind-boggling creation, the world population faces a devastating, mysterious outbreak. We are only able to conclude that something silent and contagious makes people slowly rot to death, so everyone is a suspect and you can’t be too careful when a stranger is around.
Wearing breathing masks, the former teacher Paul (Joel Edgerton), his wife Sarah (Carmen Ejogo), and their teen son Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), unanimously decided to put an end to the suffering days of Sara’s father, who was caught by the bug. The act was as much blunt as emotional, but absolutely necessary to guarantee their safety.
They own a secluded property in the woods that seems to protect them from the outside dangers. A certain day, a stranger called Will (Christopher Abbott) attempts to invade the house, thinking it was empty. Paul knocks him out, ties him to a tree, and later starts questioning him, trying to figure out what his real intentions are. The man discloses he has a wife, Kim (Riley Keough), and a little son named Edward (Griffin Robert Faulkner), who are both waiting for him 50 miles away with plenty of food but no water supply, a situation that forced him to scavenge for the precious liquid.
After verifying the veracity of the man’s story, Paul and his family give their consent for Will to bring his family and live with them under the compliance of some strict safety rules.
Despite all the cautions, the invisible enemy lurks at every corner, ready to take man or animal that crosses his path. Travis, frequently assaulted by creepy nightmares at night, is the one who wanders all over the house, seeing what nobody else can see.
Without being scary in the real sense of the word, the film is still able to surprise you and never falls in boredom or convention. It becomes inevitable to ponder what would you do if it was you and your family facing a critical situation such as the one depicted.
The camera stealthily plunges in arresting scenarios, moving patiently between dark rooms and halls, and building suspenseful moments with the help of Brian McOmber’s decorous yet penetrating score.
You won't be given revelations about the enigma or bloody horror scenes. In truth, Shults focuses exclusively on the characters and puts the profound silence of the woods working together with the haunting idea of an abominable contamination that can entrap you and the ones you love the most. Hence, expect a light horror film but a heavy, psychological, dark chamber tale.