Houston Film Fanatics - HFF Ray
Horror fans have been chomping at the bit waiting for a chance to get to see the new Horror/Mystery film It Comes At Night. HFF got the chance to check out an early screening of the show and is here to bring you all the spooky details. For those of your who don't know, It Comes At Night is set in the beginning of the apocalypse. Some unknown sickness is sweeping across the land and one family who is tucked away in their desolate home in the woods is just trying to survive. Paul (Joel Edgerton), his wife Sarah (Carmen Ejogo) and their son Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) are just getting by. They keep their house boarded up with only one way in and out, they use gas masks everytime they have to go outside. They stay under the radar. Everything is business as usual when one night a man breaks into their home and the family goes full on battle mode. After capturing the intruder they find that he is just a man searching the woods for food and water for his wife and young son. Despite initially distrusting the man, Will (Christopher Abbott), the family decides there is more strength in numbers and agrees to take in Paul and his family. As things continue their phobias, paranoia, and even things that go bump in the night start to eat away at this new unit of people sending their whole world into upheaval.
Okay, so here is the thing. I liked this movie as a survival/apocalypse drama. No part of this movie ever felt like a horror film to me. There are a couple times where things get tense, but I would never really say they were scary. I did spend a lot of the film, like I do with most apocalypse films, yelling in my head at the actors who continued to do some really sketchy and stupid things throughout the film. For example, the son Travis doesn't sleep at night since his grandfather contacted the sickness killing the globe and has to be killed in front of him by his dad. So he creeps around the house at night listening into conversations through the walls. Anything from his parents talking to the new couple in the house having sex. See what I mean by sketchy? He is also my least favorite character because he never seems to fully grasp the severity of any of the situations they seem to be in and he is always acting without thinking. It gets old way fast. Then there is Paul and Sarah. Paul is clearly the decision maker in the house, but I feel like unless Paul is telling her what to do Sarah lacks any ability to step up on her own. Also really annoying, really fast. Honestly, paranoia and doubt are characters themselves in this film and are the main driving force throughout the film.
Overall, this movie did nothing for me as a horror film. Survival film is more fitting a category for it. it lacks a lot of the elements it needs to truly be considered a horror film for me. Like if the credits start to roll and I am still waiting for the horror component to kick in, that kinda disqualifies it in my book, but be your judge. Overall, this one scored a B- from me. Not a bad film, but not what I was expecting. it definitely will leave you with stuff to talk about on the ride home from the theater both about the characters choices and I am sure some moral arguments, but you'll be talking none the less.
Check out It Comes At Night playing at the Alamo Drafthouse - Mason Park starting June 9th!