“It Comes at Night” fails to deliver

By Sean Kranske, Contributing Writer

It Comes at Night is a low-budget horror film, starring Joel Edgerton and directed by Trey Edward Shults. Although this film hasn’t received the attention of other films released this summer, like The Mummy and Wonder Woman, many horror fans were more excited about It Comes at Night than any of the multi-million-dollar blockbuster films planned for this summer.

This film tells a story about a family that hides out in a cabin in the woods while an unnamed plague is slowly wiping out the rest of humanity. It’s a simple story, and one that has been done many times before, but this film tries to separate itself by focusing on the characters portrayed by very talented actors. It sounds like an okay idea on paper but in reality, the film is a boring slog with no real resolution.

The film’s cast is comprised of mostly lesser-known actors, with Edgerton being the most popular actor in the movie. However, the actors all give great performances, and it is a shame to see them held back by such a lackluster script.

The biggest problem this movie has, and what caused me to walk out disappointed at the end, is that everything is extremely shallow. The characters, despite being portrayed well, are all two-dimensional and don’t offer much personality throughout the entire movie.

Likewise, the story fails to deliver anything particularly compelling. Rather than presenting situations and resolving them, this film chooses to present situations and leave the audience hanging.

For example, without giving any major spoilers, there is a dialogue scene between two characters. During their conversation, it appears that things might get a little romantic between them, which would make the situation the characters are in a lot more complicated. However, the scene ends and it is never alluded to again. If this scene were to be cut out of the film entirely, no important information would be lost.

Again, this is only one example but there are many more. Every plot point in this film, even the subplots, leave the audience hanging. This could have been done in an attempt to make the audience think about the film’s themes and unanswered questions.

However, the film doesn’t actually present any thought-provoking situations or even anything that hasn’t been done many times before. As a result, It Comes at Night simply comes across as a pretentious mess.

Photo credit: IMDb.com