It Comes at Night
|It Comes at Night|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Trey Edward Shults|
|Written by||Trey Edward Shults|
|Music by||Brian McOmber|
|Box office||$19.7 million|
It Comes at Night is a 2017 American post-apocalyptic horror film written and directed by Trey Edward Shults. It stars Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo, Kelvin Harrison Jr., and Riley Keough.
The film had its premiere at the Overlook Film Festival in Mount Hood, Oregon on April 29, 2017, and was theatrically released on June 9, 2017 in the United States, by A24. It was positively received by critics and grossed over $19 million worldwide.
A highly contagious outbreak has ravaged the world. Paul, his wife Sarah, and their teenage son Travis have secluded themselves in their home deep in the woods in an undisclosed location. When Sarah's father, Bud, contracts the disease, they kill him and burn his body in a shallow grave. The next night, they capture an intruder breaking into the house. Paul ties him to a tree and places a bag over his head overnight to confirm he is not suffering from the disease. The stranger, Will, explains that he did not know the house was occupied and was only searching for fresh water for himself, his wife, and his young son. Will offers to trade some of their supply of food for water. Sarah suggests bringing Will's family back to their home, reasoning that the more people they have with them, the easier it would be to defend themselves should anyone else discover their location. Paul agrees, and he takes Will to collect his family. Along the way, they are ambushed by two men. Paul kills them and accuses Will of having set him up. Will points out that he fought them as well and assuages Paul's mistrust.
A few days later, Paul returns along with Will, his wife Kim, and son Andrew. After establishing the rules that Paul and Sarah have used to stay safe, including keeping the only entrance locked with a key Paul or Sarah wear around their neck, and keeping nighttime excursions to a minimum, the two families begin to establish a sense of normality and grow closer to each other. One day, Travis's dog Stanley begins barking aggressively at and chases an unseen presence in the woods. Travis follows the dog deeper into the woods before Stanley's barking suddenly ceases. Travis insists to Paul and Will that he heard something in the woods. They decide to return home, as Paul insists Stanley knows the woods and will find his own way home. That night, Will seemingly contradicts a story he had told Paul earlier about what he and Kim were doing prior to finding the abandoned house. Paul's response suggests an increasing level of distrust of Will.
That evening, Travis is awakened by a nightmare about his grandfather. He discovers Andrew sleeping on the floor of Bud's old room, also suffering from a nightmare. Travis leads him back to his parents' room before hearing a sound from downstairs. Investigating, Travis finds that the front door of the house is slightly opened. He wakes Paul and Will, who investigate further and find a bleeding and gravely sick Stanley lying on the floor. They kill and burn the dog. When Travis reveals that the door was already open when he came downstairs, Sarah suggests that a sleepwalking Andrew might have opened the door. Kim argues the possibility, and as tensions between the two families begin to rise, Paul decides that they should isolate themselves in their own rooms for a couple of days so that they can calm down and ensure no one is infected.
The next morning, Travis overhears a distraught Kim telling Will that they need to leave. Travis informs his parents that Andrew might be infected and, as such, he may be infected himself. Paul and Sarah don protective masks and gloves and take weapons to confront Kim and Will, fearing that they may steal their food and water, or return later by force. When Paul asks to be let in to see if Andrew is sick, Will draws a gun and takes Paul captive. Will insists that his family is healthy and demands Paul give him a fair share of food and water so that they can leave. Paul and Sarah overwhelm Will and force him and his family outside. Will and Paul get into a brutal fight before Sarah shoots Will, who dies from his wound. Kim flees into the woods with Andrew. Paul fires after them, killing Andrew. Kim hysterically begs Paul to kill her to end her misery, and he does.
Later, Travis awakens in bed, visibly sick. His mother comforts him as he dies. Some time later, Paul and Sarah, now both severely infected, sit at the dinner table in silence. They share a shattered, devastated look as the film cuts to black and ends.
- Joel Edgerton as Paul, Sarah’s husband and Travis’s father
- Christopher Abbott as Will, Kim’s husband and Andrew’s father
- Carmen Ejogo as Sarah, Paul’s wife and Travis’s mother
- Kelvin Harrison Jr. as Travis, Paul and Sarah’s son
- Riley Keough as Kim, Will’s wife and Andrew’s mother
- Griffin Robert Faulkner as Andrew, Will and Kim’s son
- David Pendleton as Bud, Sarah's father and Travis’s grandfather
- Chase Joliet and Mick O'Rourke as men who attack Paul and Will
Shults began writing the film after the death of his father as a way of dealing with the pain. He cites Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s 1562 oil painting The Triumph of Death as inspiration and it features prominently in the movie and its first trailer. Although the film is post-apocalyptic Shults did not look to any other such films as inspiration; instead, he cited the work of Paul Thomas Anderson and John Cassavetes and the films Night of the Living Dead and The Shining as inspirations. To the later point, the film takes some influences from The Shining's Overlook Hotel in that the layout of the house is specifically obscure and never properly established. Shults has described it "as this kind of labyrinth" and a metaphor for "the mesh of Travis’ head."
The film had its world premiere at The Overlook Film Festival at Timberline Lodge, Oregon, on April 29, 2017. The film was scheduled to be released on August 25, 2017, but was rescheduled for June 9, 2017.
It Comes at Night grossed $14 million in the United States and Canada and $5.7 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $19.7 million.
It Comes at Night was released alongside The Mummy and Megan Leavey, and was expected to gross around $7 million from 2,533 theaters in its opening weekend, with a chance of making as much as $12 million. It made $700,000 from Thursday night previews and $2.4 million on its first day. It ended up debuting to $6 million, finishing 6th at the box office. Deadline Hollywood noted the film's poor audience word-of-mouth led to a drop of potential Saturday and Sunday sales.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 88% based on 212 reviews, with an average rating of 7.4/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "It Comes at Night makes lethally effective use of its bare-bones trappings while proving once again that what's left unseen can be just as horrifying as anything on the screen." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score 78 out of 100, based on 43 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "D" on an A+ to F scale.
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipient(s) and nominee(s)||Result||Ref.|
|Gotham Independent Film Awards||November 27, 2017||Breakthrough Actor||Kelvin Harrison Jr.||Nominated|||
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