As a production company, A24 has made an almighty splash in Hollywood with powerful independent films, Moonlight, Room and Ex Machina just being a few of the many major successes they’ve had. Showing faith in an array of filmmakers and their visions has paid dividends so far, and it continues to do so with Trey Edward Shults and his psychological horror It Comes At Night.
In a post apocalyptic world ravaged by an unknown threat, Paul (Joel Edgerton), his wife Sarah (Carmen Ejogo), and their teenage son Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) have secluded themselves in a cabin in the woods. When a young family arrives seeking refuge, their way of life is put to the test.
Horror has seen somewhat of a revival in the past few years with new and exciting filmmakers making it clear that the genre can be so effective when you opt for more than just jump scares and loud noises to scare your audience. It Comes At Night takes place within a cabin and a section of the surrounding woodland and Shults utilises natural lighting and silence incredibly well to create an unnerving experience in such a confined space.
This is a well crafted film with some beautiful cinematography from Drew Daniels and a brooding score from Brian McOmber, both accentuating the mystery of the film’s narrative. Shults makes It Comes At Night a film where nothing is spoon fed to the audience, instead leaving it for them to make up their own minds, right up until its powerful final moments.
Coming to the performances, It Comes At Night is driven forward by the feeling of paranoia that grips the characters and the cast are all on fine form here. We know the qualities that Joel Edgerton can bring to a film and he certainly delivers again here. It’s Kelvin Harrison Jr. who I was impressed with the most as the film progressed, his sense of fear and uncertainty really showing through his facial expressions.
My advice would be to leave any expectations you have at the door and just watch it unfold because this film took me by surprise. If you’re looking for mystery in your film this week, look no further than It Comes At Night.