Cert: 15 Runtime: 91 mins Director: Trey Edward Shults Cast: Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo, Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Riley Keough
If you’re lying to me, I will kill you. No doubt about it.
It’s always a shame when you read about people kicking off when a film isn’t not categorised in the genre it should be. Why do we need to care so much about it? For me it doesn’t bother me, The Witch last year is a prime example of this. Not really a horror but boy-howdy it was good. It Comes at Night has had some angry viewers, but a quality A24 release can not be avoided. So what is It Comes At Night about? Centering around a teenage boy (Kelvin Harrison, Jr.) as he grapples with mounting terrors—external and otherwise—in the aftermath of an unnamed cataclysm. Secure within a desolate home with his vigilant, protective and heavily armed parents (Joel Edgerton and Carmen Ejogo), 17-year-old Travis navigates fear, grief and paranoia.
It does sound like the title of a supernatural horror film, but I can tell you right now that it isn’t. There are certainly horror elements to it, such as the great amounts of tension throughout the film, and several scenes depicting the son’s nightmares, but at its core, this film is a psychological drama/thriller more than anything else. This is a well crafted film with some beautiful cinematography from Drew Daniels and a brooding score from Brian McOmber, both accentuating the mystery of the film’s narrative. Shults makes It Comes At Night a film where nothing is spoon fed to the audience, instead leaving it for them to make up their own minds, right up until its powerful final moments.
The film’s cast is extremely strong and small enough so that you actually care about these characters which is hard to find in horror. Joel Edgerton gives yet another convincing performance. When he’s making smaller films he seems to be more passionate in what he is creating. The stand out otherwise had to Kelvin Harrison, Jr., he was very engaging, naive and his fear can be felt throughout. I hope to see a lot more of his work in the future. It Comes At Night doesn’t really have much re-watch-ability, the jump scares cheapen it also. For any cinema lover it’s worth a go, but you can see why it’s so divisive.