(US - 2017)
Written and directed by Trey Edward Shults. Cast: Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo, Riley Keough, Kelvin Harrison Jr., David Pendleton, Griffin Robert Faulkner. (R, 91 mins)
It's not surprising that A24 picked up the distribution rights for IT COMES AT NIGHT, an intense and extremely claustrophobic psychological horror film that falls in line with two other divisive genre titles they're released: THE WITCH and THE BLACKCOAT'S DAUGHTER--well-crafted, minimalist exercises in escalating tension and paranoia that attract significant critical acclaim while alienating mainstream moviegoers. It's the second feature film by 28-year-old Trey Edward Shults, a Terrence Malick protege whose 2015 indie family dysfunction drama KRISHA got some significant critical acclaim. He then worked as a production assistant on Jeff Nichols' 2016 film MIDNIGHT SPECIAL, where he met co-star Joel Edgerton, who produces and stars in IT COMES AT NIGHT, a film that will likely frustrate those looking for standard, straighforward horror with clear-cut explanations for the things that occur. Shults is more interested in symbolism, atmosphere, and creating a sense of disorientation (certain scenes have a different aspect ratio, and that's by design) and mounting unease that explodes into paranoia that ultimately leads to tragedy. It's grim and uncompromising, and as far as multiplex counter-programming goes, make no mistake--this is the Feel Bad Hit of the Summer.
Black Phillip from THE WITCH.