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Dan's Review: "It Comes at Night" reveals more cerebral monsters

Jun 09, 2017 12:53AM ● Published by Dan Metcalf

Joel Edgerton and Kelvin Harrison Jr. in It Comes at Night - © 2017 A24.

It Comes at Night (A24)

Rated R for violence, disturbing images, and language.

Starring Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Riley Keough, Griffin Robert Faulkner, David Pendleton, Chase Joliet, Mick O'Rourke. 

Written and Directed by Trey Edward Shults.

GRADE: A-

REVIEW:

Sometimes the scariest things aren’t what we see, but what we imagine. That’s the main idea behind It Comes at Night, a new psychological horror from writer/director Trey Edward Shults.

Joel Edgerton stars as Paul, a former schoolteacher trying to survive in the woods with his family after some sort of apocalyptic plague takes over the Earth. Paul’s wife Sarah (Carmen Ejogo) and son Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) live in fear after seeing first-hand the horrors of the killer disease. When a man named Will Christopher Abbott) tries to enter their remote cabin, he is taken prisoner by Paul. Will explains that he was only trying to find water for his own wife and young son, and Paul eventually allows them to move in. Will’s wife Kim (Riley Keogh) and little boy Andrew (Griffin Robert Faulkner) get along fine until suspicion creeps in among both families. The situation worsens when someone leaves the “red door” open (the only way in or out of the cabin) and survival instincts take over. But, what about the killer disease outside, that turns humans and animals into monsters?

It Comes at Night certainly looks like your garden-variety horror flick on the surface, with lots of things that go “bump” in the shadows. The “monsters” may not be what you expect, as the movie relies on innuendo and human misgivings to create the horror, rather than revealing a boogeyman of flesh and blood. This twist may disappoint everyday horror film fanatics, but it plays masterfully as a deep look into the drker side of the human psyche. The performances of Edgerton and the supporting cast are perfectly matched with Shults’ tense style that masterfully exploits human imperfections.

It Comes at Night may not be your common horror movie, and that can be a good thing, especially if you’re open to something a little more sophisticated than buckets of blood and gore.

Also, don’t forget to lock the red door.

 

It Comes at Night Trailer

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