Terry Shults’ suspenseful horror It Comes At Night revolves around a family in their efforts to stay alive and safe in a world ravaged by a mysterious disease. The film has been met with many good critical reviews despite it being advertised very little and having a limited release. This description led me to be very excited for the film and even fearful that I was seeing it alone. However I left the cinema quite disappointed with my experience and wondering if I had actually understood the film at all.
The film began without outlying the cause of the disease or even showing the audience what was truly happening. Here I was intrigued and wanted to find out, however as this lack of information continued throughout the film I felt more confused and annoyed. There was plenty of suspense as one would expect with a mystery thriller, however not much came of this suspense and there was very little release towards the end of the film. The ending was quite anti-climactic in my opinion; it worked and was realistic but didn’t fit with the building suspense and action throughout the film. Another thing the ending lacked was answers, as abrupt and fitting as the ending was it did not provide many answers as to what in fact comes at night.
It is a shame the films narrative and some of the acting let down what is a beautifully shot film. The use of colour and framing throughout the film make it visually stunning and help create a sense of mystery. In particular the use of lighting from the rechargeable lamps is at times eerie heightening the dreamlike night-time sequences.
One point I can commend the film on is the choice of its lead actor, Kelvin Harrison Jr playing protagonist Travis was excellently understated in his reactions and emotions. Facing something that is not exactly relatable (complete isolation and fear of unknown disease) Harrison made the experiences his character faced understandable and allowed me to have empathy for the teenager. He also managed well with the more surreal dream sequences, blurring the lines between what was real and what was dream fantastically.
All in all it was interesting to see but slightly underwhelming. Despite being a thriller, something I would usually recommend you see in cinemas for the full effect, this is definitely one thing you can wait to stream or buy on DVD.