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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
TL;DR version: Disappointing horror film with a misleading title and marketing campaign.

Longer version: Ugh. Set in a zombie-holocaust future, It Comes At Night plays like a bad episode of The Walking Dead with upgraded production values.

Long story short, there's a virus, civilization has totally broken down (doesn't it always?), and a multiracial family (white father, mixed african-american mom, mixed son) has taken refuge in a cabin deep in the woods. And they are SERIOUS about surviving, aka super-cautious, well-armed, and likely as not to kill trespassers.

One day, they get such a trespasser, a man looking for supplies who breaks into their house, thinking it's unoccupied. He is dealt with, and luckily for the plot, not killed.

Turns out said trespasser has a family, and a lot of food at HIS cabin, but no water (which the multiracial family does have a lot of). They agree that they should all move in together, in the interest of shared supplies and shared defense.

From there, with the two families living under the same roof, the film devolves into a meditation on paranoia, mistrust, and 'how far would you be willing to go to survive?'. While having no, repeat no actual 'monster', beyond the one that lives in each of us.

Despite this, nearly all the music and shots seem designed to build a sense of dread, 'as if' something awful it lurking out there in the woods.

I guess if the film's title and marketing campaign wasn't so misleading, this almost could've been a good premise for a film (or at least, a more honest one), but the execution lets the film down... its plot is thin, fairly obvious, and joyless, and it climaxes (if you can call it that) in a very unsatisfying ending.

When the credits rolled, one member of the audience exclaimed out loud, "Really?". And, that did seem to be the general consensus.

A couple of mysteries get raised along the way (such as, how reliable really is the family that moved in, and what hurt the family dog), but are never resolved. Which seems strangely fitting, as writer-director Trey Edward Shults seemed to give up halfway through on finding any coherent or truly impactful story in all of this.

I'd imagine the 'downer' ending was supposed to serve as a meditation on the ugly side of humanity/the consequences of survival-at-any-cost, but, you need more than just that to be poignant.

Oh, and just to spoil a film that really does deserve to be spoiled... the 'it' that comes at night is just a normal guy, and later, the family dog. That's it.

One star out of four. Do not waste your time. :(

Interestingly, this is also one of those rare films that makes me question what professional reviewers have been smoking during their screenings... it's getting 86% at Rotten Tomatoes.

But the audience score is 43%, and that should tell you something. Ishtar got 38%.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Trailer's better than the movie.



 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That was probably the best movie review I've ever read.
Thanks man. Though I think I was largely just venting over having an hour and a half of my life wasted. :(
.
 

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That sounds similar to 10 Cloverfield Lane. But with the amazing space alien invasion finale you were looking for.
 

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That sounds similar to 10 Cloverfield Lane. But with the amazing space alien invasion finale you were looking for.
Did you mean 'without'? There's no alien invasion in It Comes At Night.

And I didn't like 10 Cloverfield Lane. I thought the ending was ridiculous.

I think I have to swear off of Hollywood 'survivalist-horror' films. They never seem to do 'em well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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Did you mean 'without'? There's no alien invasion in It Comes At Night.

And I didn't like 10 Cloverfield Lane. I thought the ending was ridiculous.

I think I have to swear off of Hollywood 'survivalist-horror' films. They never seem to do 'em well.
My language was backwards. I meant Cloverfield had the bizzarro alien ending.

My wife and I debated whether the ending was genius or foolish.

Ultimately, I decided it was great: when the aliens eventually do come, it will be guys like the John Goodman character that are prepared. And you gotta take the bad with the good when you mix it up with a genuine prepper.

But, to arrive at a final decision, I decided I would have to watch from the beginning again - have not got around to that yet...
 
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