It Comes at Night
2 out of 5
Never has a title of a movie been so misleading. I really thought watching the trailer for this movie, I was in store for a hidden treasure along the lines of “The Conjuring.” Something that really comes in under the radar to scare and entertain you. Not this time.
The movie is beautifully shot and edited, and the soundtrack does a good job of giving you the feeling that something ominous is going to happen at times — but ultimately never does. The entire movie felt as though I was watching the sequel to an original movie that I never saw. The story simply starts, with little information and feels as though it’s building to something, but then about 45 minutes into it you begin to realize nothing is going to happen. It’s a sinking feeling. There is no monster or evil spirit to appear, and even the sickness that has apparently left the world in an apocalyptic state, only serves as a backstory to what’s going on. In short, I’m still not really sure what “it” is, and what actually comes at night.
In the end, the story is about a family trying desperately to insulate themselves from what’s left of the world, and anyone in it — along with the sickness that has apparently sent the world into a terrible tailspin. Against, their better judgement they take in a small family — much like their own — just younger. Not long after things begin to unravel, as doubt and mistrust begin to overtake both families. Unfortunately, the movie just never goes beyond that. There are subtle threads that give you the thought that the movie is about to take off — and then they are gone — just like the enthusiasm you had when they first started to appear.
There are moments with some genuinely frightening images and scenes — but overall — when it’s over you’re just left wondering why the scenes were even there. They had no purpose — they didn’t further the story, and again, just seem to be there to mislead you into believing something big is about to happen.
To me, there just aren’t many other ways to say it. The movie was disappointing. I wanted more — I wanted there to be something to fear — but it just never materializes. I left confused — not about the story — but about what was marketed to me, and what I actually saw. It was the same feeling I got after watching “The Village” from M. Knight Shyamalan in 2004. “It Comes At Night” was just depressing, mis-marketed and mis-titled.