Rotten Tomatoes It Comes At Night

Similar a lot of horror movies, “Information technology Comes at Night” opens with a decease. An older gentleman, who is clearly very sick, says goodbye to his family and and then gets shot in the head earlier his son-in-constabulary and grandson burn his body. Did I mention they’re all wearing gas masks? From the beginning, confusion and loss reign in a film designed to keep you lot uncertain and emotionally raw.

Trey Edward Shults’ second film—after the remarkable breakthrough of “Krisha” final year—takes identify in a world ravaged by a horrendous illness, the kind of matter that kills you in a day and has left survivors scrounging for food and trusting no one. It’s non pretty. Your torso bruises, your eyes go black, you puke blood. But this is no riff on “The Walking Dead” or “28 Days Later.” It’s important that Shults’ vision of the stop of the globe opens not with an attack only with the kind of event that forever twists the trajectory of a young human’s life: the death of a loved one. It is a picture in which the villains are loss, grief, pain, fear, and distrust—very human being emotions—and it is has no traditional undead brain-eaters. At that place are no zombies in the streets, boogeymen in the basement or witches in the woods—and yet information technology is one of the most terrifying films in years.

Shults is very careful in the fashion he parses out $.25 of information about the world in which “It Comes at Nighttime” takes place, even though almost the entirety of the action unfolds in a boarded-up house and the woods that surround information technology. Father Paul (Joel Edgerton) has very strict rules that are uniformly obeyed by son Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) and mother Sarah (Carmen Ejogo). Every window in the house is boarded upward and at that place’due south only 1 fashion out, through two locked doors, one of which has been painted bright red. If they need to go exterior for any reason, they go in pairs, and they never become out at nighttime.

Shortly after the burning of grandpa’s body, the family awakens to a sound in the “airlock room” between the 2 neverhoped-for-opened doors. Someone, or something, is in the house. After a bit of a terrifying scuffle, they notice that their invader is named Will (Christopher Abbott), and he’s just looking for water for his family, wife Kim (Riley Keough) and son Andrew (Griffin Robert Faulkner), who are in another abandoned house 50 miles away. They accept food they can trade. No, they’re not sick. And yet in that location’s something about their story that doesn’t quite add together upwards.

Working at a peak of atmospheric horror rarely seen in merely a second film, Shults and his ace cinematographer Drew Daniels (who besides shot “Krisha”) create captivating visuals with in-scene light sources throughout “It Comes at Night,” from the dim illumination of a lantern to the harsh glare of a flashlight on the end of a gun. Working with a fantastic product design team, they basis “It Comes at Night” in a tactile world—you tin can smell the wood that makes up the house and feel the grime on their skins. Even when the action opens upward to the forest outdoors, they observe ways to capture the natural lite coming through the trees in a way that never pretentiously calls attention to itself but adds to the tension.
adds to the tension in “Information technology Comes at Night,” including the stellar sound design and the playful use of irresolute aspect ratios, equally the perspective shrinks to clarify when Travis is having a bad dream … maybe.

The performances are uniformly stellar throughout “It Comes at Dark” (particularly Christopher Abbott, doing his best work since “James White”), simply the picture show surprisingly belongs to engaging newcomer Harrison, who becomes the optics through which we see this story. We rarely know anything he doesn’t, and it’south his 17-year-old emotions that nosotros come to equate with our ain. In a sense, the adults are almost archetypal—the strict begetter, the supportive mother, the engaging male stranger & the sexy female person one—further defining how much “Information technology Comes at Night” works on emotional undercurrents as much every bit it does traditional horror tropes. It is near that 24-hour interval you remember your father might be wrong; the day you realize your loved ones can dice; the solar day you lot flirt with a pretty girl. It just also happens to be nearly what could be your last twenty-four hours.

Shults the screenwriter tin sometimes push the refusal to respond questions well-nigh this universe to a bespeak that will interruption for some viewers who need a few more rules and resolutions. I get that. My fear is that too many people will become into “It Comes at Night” expecting a traditional horror moving picture reveal in the concluding human action or, worse, a Shyamalan twist. I would never spoil where a pic goes but would only advise that you not attempt to get ahead of this 1. Just take it scene by scene, beat out past vanquish, and let the characters’ emotions work on you lot more than trying to solve the unanswered questions of this tale.

Most of all, “It Comes at Night” is a motion picture in which the true elements of fearfulness come from inside, not from outside. Sure, it’due south non exactly a new concept—George A. Romero, John Carpenter and Stanley Kubrick have created the cinematic templates for such a thing from which Shults openly cribs without ever feeling like he’s self-consciously paying homage—just information technology’s remarkable to consider how much horror mileage that Shults gets out of a movie with no traditional villains. In a sense, it’s a reverse horror picture, one that tells u.s., “Sure, the exterior world is scary, only it’s distrust and paranoia that will truly exist your undoing. The existent enemy is already inside. Now try and go some slumber.” Adept luck with that last role.

Brian Tallerico

Brian Tallerico

Brian Tallerico is the Editor of, and also covers television, film, Blu-ray, and video games. He is also a writer for Vulture, The Playlist, The New York Times, and Rolling Stone, and the President of the Chicago Film Critics Clan.

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Film Credits

It Comes at Night movie poster

Information technology Comes at Nighttime (2017)

Rated R for violence, agonizing images, and linguistic communication.

97 minutes

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