Watch a tense clip from horror film It Comes at Night

Pierre Vaugeois
Juin 9, 2017

Much like his award-winning and critically acclaimed debut Krisha, Shults' latest effort, It Comes At Night, which comes courtesy of indie studio A24, is a rather personal film from this blossoming filmmaker who delivers a disturbing, emotional psychological horror thriller that continues to haunt the viewer even after the last frame vanishes from the screen.

Combine those elements with an outstanding cast, especially Egerton and Harrison, whose characters undergo a devastating transformation by the end of the third act, and you have a film that A24, who will certainly attract viewers who enjoyed The Witch and Green Room with It Comes At Night, should be more than proud to put their name on.

It's centered on one family, Paul (Joel Edgerton), Sarah (Carmen Ejogo), their teenage son Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) and their dog Stanley. They live in a big house deep in the woods and entirely alone. The disease, which hits quickly and is highly contagious, is barely explained. It's possible that it's scarcely understood by Paul and his family, who have decided that strict isolationism is the only way to survive.

Still, something has managed to make their grandfather ill. That's how the movie starts - with a stark image of a dying, decaying face. After talking it over with Sarah, and tying Will to a tree and leaving him there overnight, Paul finds it in his heart to invite the small family into their home to escape the unsafe, post-apocalyptic world outside that surrounds them all. Before they can even take a look at the trespasser's face, Paul has already beat him to a pulp and tied him to a tree where he spends the night wailing.

Paul doesn't trust this man, Will (Christopher Abbott), but after it's established that he is not sick and is merely looking for water for his wife (Riley Keough) and kid (Griffin Robert Faulkner), the main family decides that the only option is to invite this new threesome to stay with them. He can't let them go now that they know where he and his family live.

"The world has gone wrong", says Edgerton.

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As paranoia and mistrust begin to boil over within the household, Shults stylishly inflicts an impending sense of doom upon the viewer with It Comes At Night, while ultimately veering away from the clichés of your average, conventional horror film. Even with a bare-bones plot, "It Comes at Night" leaves you suspicious of even the trees by the end.

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