It Comes at Night
Director: Trey Edward Shults
Running Time: 97 minutes
A visceral assault on every level; there’s a claustrophobic, atmospheric dread that tests your nerves, and there’s a heartbreaking, emotional center that adds a thought-provoking level of devastation in It Comes at Night.
By definition, horror is an intense feeling of fear, shock, or disgust. It’s subjective; therefore, not boxed in by limitations. Fear comes in a variety of ways, and it’s not one size fits all. All of this to serve as a reminder that even the atypical can bring an overwhelming amount of terror, as is the case in writer/director Trey Edward Shults sophomore feature. The very title of the film invokes thoughts of creatures or vampires, but Shults takes an unexpected approach far more grounded in realism. It’s downright petrifying.
We’re introduced to a man’s family; a small trio that lives in a remote home nestled deep in the woods. It’s a brutal introduction to a world where a Bubonic plague inspired pandemic long since ravaged the population; forcing survivors into desperate isolation. This isn’t horror in the traditional sense, but make no mistake; it’s a horror film.
Written by Shults while he was in Texas, in a bad state of mind while dealing with his father’s cancer, the underlying theme is about how people respond to fear, especially when confronted with death. It’s not pretty. While the film doesn’t contain any familiar elements of horror on paper, it’s one of the most nerve-shredding experiences on film. Shults makes every emotion on screen tangible; desperation, fear, anger, and melancholy are palpable.
~~ Meagan Navarro, Modern Horrors