The premise of Trey Edward Shults’ ‘It Comes at Night’ reeks of a familiar dread, and the post-apocalyptic setting sees a family of three – father, mother and son – holed up in a house somewhere deep in the forests, where they await an intruder breaching into their peace any moment.
Shults focuses on the build of terror, and within minutes draws us hopelessly into the skepticisim that each of his lead characters harbours deep within. When a man breaks into their house in the dead of the night, its not just the fear of intrusion and disease that emerge the family’s chief concerns; they will also, among many other things, reassess their abilities to battle with paranoia and place their trust on a stranger.
Performances are brilliant from the leading cast, and while Joel Edgerton affirms that there are probably few occasions when the actor could let you down, he is ably supported by the rest, including actors as Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo, Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Riley Keough. Drew Daniels, ever so cleverly realizing that his camera needs to ponder as much on the horrors within as the ones outside, does an exemplary job.
‘It Comes at Night’ clearly keeps the horror chestnuts at bay, and does not bank on the shudders and sudden shocks to keep you going. Rather, the horror of it all lies dark and cold deep inside, and when the monsters get moving, there is no stopping the terror that is unleashed from deep down your guts.
Verdict: Unnerving Psychological Thriller