For Reel


It Comes at Night (2017)
August 13, 2017, 12:38 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Trey Edward Shults
3 Stars
It Comes At Night.jpgIt Comes at Night uses its runtime to navigate a well-trod genre trope—in the post-apocalyptic world, strangers are inherently untrustworthy. After the bulk of humanity has been wiped out by what seems to be a bacterial infection, the last survivors scrape by where they can and contend for food and land. Joel Edgerton’s patriarch, stoic and stubborn, justifies all of his actions by pronouncing that he is doing it all to protect the family. At some point, the sentiment becomes so repeated that it begins to seem ridiculous, particularly in the brutal finale. Director Trey Edward Shults nicely establishes the nightmarish mood through a slowly-gliding camera down a corridor, suggesting not only death’s inevitability but its somewhat enticing draw. He’s an efficient filmmaker on both aesthetic and narrative grounds, however one questions if the material is under-conceived—the violent actions of desperate people is a tired cliche by now, and Shults doesn’t do much to make the audience consider the theme in a new way. The ending dwells even deeper into the miserablism, which doesn’t seem so much radical as it does inevitable in a world in which The Walking Dead maintains its popularity through merciless slaughter. If the film is tense and the mood is nicely set, it leaves the audience depressed and—worse—bored by the familiarity of the material.

Advertisements