A creepy outward nature displays a strong knowledge of horror without being genuinely scary
It Comes At Night is very much from the same vein as The Walking Dead. Often very slow paced and dialogue heavy, it focuses on the personal impacts of a catastrophic event. It’s an incredibly psychological film and the use of a creepy outward nature displays a strong knowledge of horror without being genuinely scary.
With a strange disease killing Travis’ (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) grandfather, his family does everything they can to protect themselves from the same fate. This becomes increasingly difficult when an intruder breaks into their house, and they are forced to accept unwanted visitors into their lives.
The film is particularly aggressive in its approach to direction and there’s a very emotional feel to the dialogue, which when combined, lead to a very ambiguous overall nature. Yet perhaps the most perplexing element is Joel Edgerton’s character, Paul. His skeptical father figure is often changing his mind and seemingly battling ideas within himself. All of the film’s characters are clearly deep and expansive, but none more so than Paul. Edgerton himself described the dropped ending as the best acting of his life, and there is evidence of that throughout.
However, the ending itself is a major disappointment. It appears that director Trey Edward Shults optioned for the minimalist, almost empty option rather than the intense and overly extreme version that was originally filmed. It Comes At Night however needed something more substantial. The ambiguous nature allows for a quiet ending, but it leaves a sour taste. A bolder more adventurous final scene would have worked and the film loses out because of that.
It Comes At Night is very close knit, it’s very creepy and 10 more minutes of intrigue could have made this a classic psychological horror.