It Comes at Night
Trey Edward Shults, USA 2017
When a mysterious threat ravages the earth, Paul (Joel Edgerton), his wife Sarah (Carmen Ejogo) and son Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) have developed a meticulously careful routine, in their house somewhere deep in the woods. By abiding strictly by their rules, they manage – well, most of the time that is – to keep the danger at bay and out of their home. However, on one of their searches for food, they run into a starving and desperate family. Against his own better judgement, Paul decides to offer them shelter. Of course it doesn’t take long before strange things start happening in their home. And then young Travis also begins to be troubled by very strange dreams ….
Director Trey Edward Shults made a conscious choice not to adopt some revolutionary formula, and the result proves him right. The dialogue and acting are so brilliant, and Shults builds the suspense so gently, that you’ll only suddenly realise that you’re on the edge of your seat, sweating away. Especially the dreams troubling Travis – ones that gradually grow stranger and more intense – give the movie a deliciously dire undertone that undulates around the story like a ravenous constrictor. It Comes at Night is without a doubt one of the most original and subtle horror movies to have appeared in recent years.
And another thing worth noting: Christopher Abbott is going to continue to evolve into one of the finest actors of our era, as evidenced by this fine spine-tingling film.