‘It Comes At Night’ a must-see for horror fanatics

Andy Moser

Director Trey Edward Shults’s first film, Krisha (2016), earned stellar reviews and put the up-and-coming director on the map. It Comes At Night is only the second film in his filmography, and it continues to bolster his reputation as a skilled storyteller.

Set in a secluded cabin in a post-apocalyptic world, Shults uses the simplicity of the environment to his advantage. There’s not a lot of space for the characters to go, making viewers claustrophobic without any hope of salvation coming from the outside world.

The film is dreadfully dark in the best way, with most of the light coming from lanterns or flashlights, making for an impressively immersive cinematic experience.

 It’s not typically easy to feel like one is actually present in a horror movie. With antagonists like ghosts, monsters, and other supernatural beings populating the vast majority of scary movies, it’s difficult to channel the same terror the characters feel because the movie is so unnatural (not to say that these movies aren’t scary in their own right). But Shults has created a film unusually realistic and shows people that there are more things to be afraid of than ghosts and monsters.

A lethal sickness seems to have infected the population, and a family (a teen boy and his parents) must do what they can to survive in their isolated cabin in the woods. The boy, Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), is plagued by nightmares that make for some truly frightening sequences.

When his family takes in another family trying to survive, these horrific dreams begin to sow mistrust between the two families. Meanwhile, desperation sets in as the families begin to feel the threat of an outside presence moving in on them.

But Shults is careful not to confirm anything outright. Instead, he plants doubt in the minds of the audience. What is actually lurking out there in the dark? Is there anything at all?

The “It” in It Comes At Night is certainly the thing that threatens to destroy both families, but the film will leave audiences dreading the reveal as they try to guess what it is. And, of course, they won’t find out until the very end. Make no mistake, audiences will be divided on their opinions of the ending, but the journey is a fun and suspenseful ride that can’t really end any other way.

Aside from a few irritating jump scares and some sequencing that may confuse viewers as to where things happen in the timeline, It Comes At Night is dark, twisted, and delightfully deceptive.

Sails: 4/5