It Comes at Night (2017) Review

Updated on June 16, 2017
The official one-sheet theatrical poster for "It Comes at Night."
The official one-sheet theatrical poster for "It Comes at Night." | Source

Skewed Dread

Houston native and Krisha director Trey Edward Schults has returned with the psychological horror film It Comes at Night. Starring Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott (A Most Violent Year), Carmen Ejogo (Alien: Covenant), Riley Keough (Mad Max: Fury Road), and Kelvin Harrison Jr (The Birth of a Nation), It Comes at Night has a worldwide epidemic wiping out the world’s population at its core. Paul (Edgerton) along with his wife Sarah (Ejogo) and 17-year-old son Travis (Harrison Jr) have boarded up and secured their home from the outside world to prevent whatever is out there from ever getting in.

Carmen Ejogo and Kelvin Harrison Jr as Sarah and Travis in "It Comes at Night."
Carmen Ejogo and Kelvin Harrison Jr as Sarah and Travis in "It Comes at Night." | Source

Paul and his family reluctantly invite another family into their sanctuary; Will (Abbott), Kim (Keough), and their young son Andrew (Griffin Robert Faulkner). The two families coexist and cooperate with each other for a brief amount of time, but it doesn’t take long for suspicion to trigger full blown paranoia. The horrors occurring in Paul’s home suddenly become more threatening than the plague eating away the outside world.

The horrors of It Comes at Night echo and haunt you over the opening credits as you hear the sickening sound of unhealthy, strained, and heavy breathing greet you into what is a tainted and unclean world. A family, whom you have yet to meet, clad in gas masks and armed with rifles and shotguns, wheels an elderly man into the middle of a forest where a grave is already dug. The elderly man is shot in the head and dumped in the dirt ridden hole where he’s covered in gasoline and burned to ash. This is what everyday life for Paul’s family has become.

Paul and his family are completely isolated from everything else. Out in the middle of the country, they are essentially on their own little island surrounded by nothing but trees and wilderness where the harms of the infected outsiders only have the ability to harm them once the sun goes down. It Comes at Night takes the old school approach to terrifying the audience as what isn’t shown is far scarier than what is actually shown on screen. Travis is plagued with insomnia, but when he does dream he has these demented yet vivid nightmares that are just unsettling enough to keep you intrigued.

Kelvin Harrison Jr as Travis in "It Comes at Night."
Kelvin Harrison Jr as Travis in "It Comes at Night." | Source

Visually, It Comes at Night succumbs to darkness on a regular basis with only the eerie glow of a battery operated lantern as the sole lifeline between seeing in the dark and total blindness. This causes simple things like a locked red door being left open and a dog sprinting out into the middle of the woods to be memorable and disconcerting due to the lighting (or lack thereof) and camera placement. Meanwhile Brian McOmber’s score packs a powerful punch often sounding fuzzy or lifted from an 8-bit video game and at other times pounding to this brilliant crescendo that makes your heart race, the hairs on your arms stand on end, and establishes unbelievable tension.

Riley Keough, Christopher Abbot, Joel Edgerton, Kelvin Harrison Jr, and Carmen Ejogo in "It Comes at Night."
Riley Keough, Christopher Abbot, Joel Edgerton, Kelvin Harrison Jr, and Carmen Ejogo in "It Comes at Night." | Source

Unfortunately, the strengths of It Comes at Night can also be seen as weaknesses to those who desire definitive conclusions. The film purposely shies away from cut and dry answers to what this infection is or what transpired to send the planet into disarray. The reaction of these six humans is what the film is really about. The threat from the inside Is just as dangerous if not slightly more so than the metaphorical beast demolishing the human race outside. You crave so much more once those end credits role, as well. While this could be seen as being better than wanting the film to end sooner, it also feels like the film doesn’t completely satisfy because of this.

The pure, chaotic tension It Comes at Night is able to tap into along with the sheer panic, unbridled fear, and utter desperation it presents rather effortlessly from start to finish are the exact sensations you wish and hope for while watching The Walking Dead. Horrifically mesmerizing with one hell of an effective score, the main flaw It Comes at Night seems to have is that its 90-minute duration goes by entirely too quickly.

4 stars for It Comes at Night (2017)


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Fullerman5000 profile image

      Ryan Fuller 

      3 years ago from Louisiana, USA

      Sounds like an interesting film to check out. May wait until it arrives on Netflix. I remember seeing the trailer for this film a few months ago and it sparked my curiosity. Thanks for sharing this review.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)