Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Film Review: It Comes At Night (2017)

It Comes At Night (Review)
United States/2017
Format Viewed for Review: Vudu
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

 It might not be a film for everyone, but if you enjoy slow-burn horror films that include some compelling elements of drama, I think you'll enjoy this movie."

As a mysterious threat ravages society, a man and his family find safety in a house in the woods... until a young family arrives in search of refuge.

It Comes At Night follows Paul (Joel Edgerton), his wife Sarah, and their seventeen-year-old son Travis. The family lives in a house in the woods, following a strict routine in order to avoid the mysterious outbreak as well as the other survivors, who may not be as friendly as they seem. Their world is shaken, however, when Will (Christopher Abbott) breaks into their house seeking water for his family. The families eventually agree to join up in order to increase their chances of survival, but trust is still an issue. There really isn't much more to the story, though. It leads to a bleak but somewhat underwhelming ending, especially if you expect an explanation.

It Comes At Night is not a film for everyone. It's a slow-burn horror-drama, akin to something Ti West might direct. (Think: The Innkeepers or House of the Devil.) Fortunately, the slow-pace doesn't translate to boredom. Instead, it helps build a tense, ominous atmosphere while keeping the tension afloat throughout most of the runtime. It's a raw, barebones survival film. There are a few dull moments, especially during the second act, but it's otherwise well-balanced. The film is also very much open to interpretation, meaning you won't get a full explanation through the plot. You'll get tidbits of information here and there, but not much more. This might make the film feel pointless to some—and I can see why. I think it's still compelling, though.

The acting is also great. Joel Edgerton delivers a strong performance as the leading man. Christopher Abbott was also great. The supporting cast was all-around good. I have no complaints when it comes to the acting. The film was beautifully shot, blending great cinematography with engaging camerawork. The music, although often subtle, helped create the mood of the film, which is a big accomplishment. The film was written and directed by Trey Edward Shults. Shults opts for an 'art-house' approach—and it's fortunately effective, for the most part. Like most art-house filmmakers, he often allows scenes to linger for far too long. However, at the same time, he creates some masterful sequences of suspense here. His writing also features some interesting underlying themes. It's not completely unique, but it doesn't have to be, either.

Overall, It Comes At Night is a very good movie—for me. It might not be a film for everyone, but if you enjoy slow-burn horror films that include some compelling elements of drama, I think you'll enjoy this movie. You'll especially enjoy this movie if you're a fan of atmospheric horror. Just don't go in expecting a fast-paced, jump-scare filled horror-thriller and you should be good to go.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Violence and blood.

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