Movie Review: 'It Comes at Night'

Updated on September 14, 2017
It Comes at Night theatrical poster
It Comes at Night theatrical poster

From A24, the studio behind The Witch, It Comes at Night is a psychological horror film starring Joel Edgerton, Carmen Ejogo, Christopher Abbot, Riley Keough, and Kelvin Harrison Jr. The film takes place in a world ravaged by a deadly disease. Society has crumbled and it is kill or be killed. Paul (Joel Edgerton), his wife (Carmen Ejogo), and their son (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) are secluded in a house deep inside the woods. The origin and cause of the disease is unknown. All the family can hope for is to survive—no matter the cost.

Sara (Carmen Ejogo), Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr), and their dog.
Sara (Carmen Ejogo), Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr), and their dog.


Unlike other movies in its genre, the film leaves the fear up to the viewer. We all have survival instincts. And our ability to adapt or do horrific things to survive is truly scary. The movie uses the theme of family to connect the characters we see. Another aspect of the film worth mentioning is its small cast. Due to the lack of people, there's already that sense of dread. This film is not about being scared or frightened about something. As it is about being terrified of what we are capable of.

Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr) holding a  red lantern to get through the dark wilderness.
Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr) holding a red lantern to get through the dark wilderness.


Since little is given plot wise, the cinematography pushes the film along its horror roots. The film is very dark and there's little light except the daytime scenes. There are also times when the camera would use different lens and use slow moving tracking shots. This had the effect of causing anxiety. Also, the film has a fascination with the color red. It is this kind of symbolism in conjunction with the movie's camera work which makes movie not only scary but suspenseful.

Kim (Riley Keough)
Kim (Riley Keough)


The best films elicit great responses long after the credits stop rolling. The director has managed to not only deliver a chilling narrative, but a through provoking one at that. Small details can only be caught on a second watch. Certain characters behaviors take on a new meaning. And dialogue is critical when a film gives you little background to go off of.

The film also leaves room for reflection. Surely, any parent can relate to Paul and Sarah. Who wouldn't do anything to protect their child? The same goes for Will and Kim. Who out of desperation would not live with strangers to survive? Of all the horror movies out there, the ones that we could see ourselves in should truly be the most frightening.

Paul (Joel Edgerton) and Will (Christopher Abbot).
Paul (Joel Edgerton) and Will (Christopher Abbot).


Humanity, as it is portrayed in the film, brings to the surface the deep-seated terror of what we fear within ourselves. Paul and Sarah love their son Travis more than anything. But, given the situation, they must put aside whoever they were before this. Doing what is right will not help them survive. So even if they must commit atrocities, it is done out of love for each other. Despite its dark narrative, all of its shining moments come from the little or big acts of humanity seen, good or bad.

Paul and Will's family eating together in the dark.
Paul and Will's family eating together in the dark.


This is a very psychological film. To be blunt, you will either you get it or you won't. There is no blood, guts, or monsters to provide that visual stimuli some may want from a horror film. Not a spoiler, but it is metaphorical. The film thrives on secrecy and it is best to go in not knowing what to expect.

The scariest thing about It Comes at Night is that is it extremely easy to relate to. We will do anything to protect our families. Plagues of a catastrophic nature existed that killed off huge parts of the population. Ultimately, fear truly causes us to do the most horrifying things. The film is small and apocalyptic based. Therefore, any horror buff or moviegoer looking for a real story featuring real character will not need to look further.

It Comes at Night is available on DVD, Blu-Ray, and available streaming platforms.

Questions & Answers


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.


      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)