It Comes at Night (2017)
R | 1h 31min | Horror, Mystery | 9 June 2017 (USA)
Synopsis: Secure within a desolate home as an unnatural threat terrorizes the world, a man has established a tenuous domestic order with his wife and son, but this will soon be put to test when a desperate young family arrives seeking refuge.
Review: Sigh. I really wanted IT COMES AT NIGHT to be a good horror film. A24 – the studio behind the film – is normally on point when creating innovative cinema. Writer/Director Trey Edward Shults may have fallen prey to what I call the Shyamalan Syndrome. It is when you have an intriguing story or concept but not enough meat on the bone to flesh out a full length film. Maybe they should have called this It Comes at M. Night.
The premise is about Paul a paranoid father (Joel Edgerton) trying to provide safety to his wife (Carmen Ejogo) and son (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) during what we can only assume is some sort of catastrophic event. There is a lot of assuming that goes in throughout the film with little or no answers coming. All we know is that people get sick and die and it is very contagious. So much so that even the slightest contact can transfer the disease. I would be ok with that had everything else panned out. If the plot is thick enough and the characters deep enough then the “whys” can often be overlooked. But more and more “whys” start stacking up until you can’t see past them.
When a young couple show up and disrupt Paul’s day to day you can only hope that the movie will take a turn toward thrilling. Nope. Just more questions, trippy dream sequences, and paranoia. Lots and lots of Paranoia. If you watch the trailer you see this sinister red door and can only imagine what evil lurks behind it. Yeah, that would have been something.
The only people who get a passing grade on this are the cinematographer Drew Daniels and the sound mixer Dimitri Kouri. Each frame looked fantastic and drew you in. The sound too was like a blanket of oppression that added to the families situation.
There are a few jump moments and some scary images. The intensity toward the end is gut churning but too late and too depressing to atone for the rest of the film. IT COMES AT NIGHT is rated R for violence, disturbing images, and language. I give it 1 out of 5 dog bones. Such a disappointment.