Day 7 – It Comes At Night
Director:Trey Edward Shults .
Starring. Joel Edgerton, Riley Keough, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo, Kelvin Harrison Jr. USA. 1h 37m.
In the aftermath of a apocalyptic virus that has wiped out most of our modern civilisation a family tries to carve out an existence in the backwoods of the USA, after bringing in some outsiders their laus trophic tale brings the two families together before everything gets ripped apart.
Trey Edwards Shults (a name that’s hard to forget but easy to misspell) worked as a crew member on Terrence Malick movies and it seems that the experience has left a big impression on him, after his low budget debut SXSW, about an eccentric woman show up to a family reunion, he now digs his heels into horror that’s not quite horror… *gulp* post horror? This impressive movie whose title seems to have little to do with the content of the film.
Joel Edgerton stars in this highbrow horror, his main objective is to protect his wife and family who have evacuated to the lush wooded area to avoid contamination from a plague which appears to have wiped out a majority of the population. The film begins with his father in law wheezing out of existence, in the middle of the night, until they take him to a shallow grave and put a bullet in his head. They burn his body and retire for the night. Later on they are broken into by a masked man who doesn’t seem to display any signs of infection but Joel, the ever paranoid man still ties him to a tree and leaves him over night. In the morning the stranger, scared, hungry and apologetic, forgives the family and offers what food he has (a few chickens and goats) if they agree to help him and his family, safety in numbers. Moments after setting out to collect the livestock and kin, they are set upon by a couple of rednecks with guns, they shoot up the car but Egerton takes them out, this is only real outside contact and only real scene of violence until the grizzly ending.
Eventually the families meet up, simple rules are set out, but the Egerton’s son, a new face(?) Kelvin Harrison Jr. , is a troubled boy, his character is hyper sensitive, and he often perceives things which aren’t they, his surreal and potent dreams depict his dying grandfather and his fears of contracting the virus keep him on edge. After seeing “something” in the woods, the boy and his dog wander into the woods, the dog chases after the mystery but the boy is too afraid of what he’s seeing but can’t explain. What did he see, and what was the dog chasing? Later on he draws pale faces in between the trees, but as an audience we see nothing? This is the mystery of the movie, it starts to trip up its audience thinking along alternative lines, is there a entity in the forest? Is there really a virus, maybe this is a case of mass hysteria. As you start to read between the lines, and notice the lies often told by the new family over the last drop of alcohol in the candlelight.
The film has a clear beginning, middle and ending, and it’s full of suspense, and epic creepy moments and superb drama which works together as you gather the notion that something is not quite right; this isn’t a standard zombie movie, it’s not a clear apocalyptic film, it’s very different and this will put a lot of people off guard. It does gather together all of the elements of horror, but only touches on them lightly, as If the bigger picture is really the drama laced heavily with suspicion and deep anxieties it’s amazing anyone manages to keep their shit together, or maybe they have gone insane? It’s hard to tell at times.
I’m still struggling to work out what it is, but my guess is that it’s death and it certainly does come.. Mostly at night. It’s an interesting project but at times can be a bit too ambiguous.
R – Night of the living dead (1968), 28 Weeks later (2007), Here Alone (2016) 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
L – Unusual modern horrors, Films that don’t have a specific time, A-Z of the Apocalypse,
A – Post Horror?
5s – Joel Egerton