It Comes at Night
Imagine the end of the world. Now imagine something worse. It Comes At Night is a psychological horror thriller centering on a teenaged boy 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, 17-year-old Travis navigates fear, grief, and paranoia amid scarce resources as a desperate young couple seeks refuge in his family home with their young child. Despite the best intentions of both families, panic and mistrust boil over as the horrors of the outside world creep ever closer. But they are nothing compared to the horrors within, where Travis discovers that his father’s commitment to protecting the family may cost him his soul.
This film was actually pretty refreshing compared to a few other movies in the survival – virus outbreak genre. For a while, you think that it’s going to make a turn and spin full force into a zombie-survival fest, but that doesn’t actually happen here. It reminded me of The Walking Dead minus the zombies…if that makes any sense. I don’t think this really qualifies as a horror movie, I’d say more like a thriller if anything. There is an oppressive atmosphere and the cast also dishes out some strong acting performances. I found myself not so much focusing on the virus that seemed to have eradicated almost the entire world, but rather on the constructive paranoia and the ever-growing mistrust between two families.
It Comes at Night starts out pretty interesting, and the owner of the house indeed makes a strong enough impression. He’s a seasoned survivor and technician with an authoritarian attitude towards everyone, but soon we learn why. The film doesn’t really do anything new in this respect, but it knows how to communicate strongly in its context, which contributes to a great atmosphere. There’s a strong structure, but in the end, it does not work out sufficiently. A shame, because there’s a lot more that could have been done. It’s a slow burn story about the lengths people go to to keep their loved ones safe. Every scene overflows with dread and claustrophobia. When the inevitable occurs, there is a sense of realism that I don’t often see in movies today. The final scene may seem abrupt, but it is breathtaking in its silence and finality. This is not a feel-good movie, nor was I expecting it to be, but I was still surprised how deeply it affected me.
Do not be fooled by the trailer. This is a psychological thriller. This film has nothing to do with monsters…well, maybe the humankind. I also say this to improve the expectations of people and to ensure that they do not get disappointed because a trailer may suggest something completely different than what they are expecting. I’, not terribly sure to what extent this might be taken as a spoiler, but I remember the movie Babadook, it had the same problem. The trailer suggested a monster film, but it turned out to be much more.
I was on the edge of my chair because I really wanted to know how it would end, and I must say, the abrupt ending caused me a bit of an anti-climax. Due to the oppressive atmosphere, certain expectations were awakened, which were not realized. However, what remains is a strong psycho-thriller where you as a viewer can move well in the situation and fear of the main characters. In terms of a mysterious atmosphere, it reminds me of the better and older films by M. Night Shyamalan. It also has similarities with the recent survival film ‘Here Alone’, in which a woman tries to survive in the woods. However, it can not match the psychological tension in this film. Overall though, it’s most definitely one to watch, if only for one time.
Title: The Night Eats the World
Release Date: June 9, 2017
Runtime: 1 hour, 31 minutes
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Drama
Studio: Lionsgate Films
Starring: Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Riley Keough, Carmen Ejogo
MPAA Rated: R
Directors: Trey Edward Shults
Reviewed by: Chad Bartlett
Our Rating: 3.4 /5
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