What’s in a name? Well when it comes to movies quite a bit. Going to see a movie about a shark named Bruce doesn’t have the same effect as seeing one named “Jaws.” What I am saying is give a movie the wrong name and it won’t smell as sweet as it would if you got the name right. Now that I got my average attempt at quoting Shakespeare out of the way, I can move on and give you what you really came for.
With a name liked “It Comes at Night” the title kind of sets some expectations. While often in life when you have high hopes for something you get let down, but in my eyes, you don’t have to worry about that here. We meet Paul (Joel Edgerton) standing over someone who looks sick, with his face behind a gas mask and arms covered by gloves. His is standing with his wife Sarah (Carman Ejogo) and his son Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) and you know things are not going well. You soon find that the family is isolated in the woods, isolated from what, becomes the question. Soon though they are no longer alone, as a man named Will (Christopher Abbott) breaks into their place for what he says is food and water. After being tied up and answering some questions, Paul finds out Will has a wife and child out in the woods and after much debate he and his family decide to take them in. Things though are not what they seem and Paul might have made the wrong decision that will affect he and his family.
Knowing as little about a film like this as possible will only heighten your viewing experience. With a vague title like “It Comes at Night” you really have no idea what you are in for, other than most likely horror. Writer/director Trey Edward Shults (Krisha) builds the atmosphere perfectly, placing you in a world where you worry about what’s behind the door. While the world he has created is beautifully shot, Shults also makes you feel the danger, and in that lies the beauty. With the opening scene, Shults lays out a puzzle where you are only given pieces gradually thoughout the movie, only in the end being able to look back at what was created. The end result is something that is wonderful to look at but also can leave you perplexed. When it is all said and done, you get is a film that blends genre expectation which is something that is so hard to come by. “It Comes at Night” is not a one-time watch, instead it is one of those films that require multiple viewings to catch all the nuances that you might miss the fist time around. Again, my suggestion is to go into this one without even seeing the trailer if possible. And take a chance on this original journey into the true darkness of night.