June 7, 2017

It Comes at Night: Desperate Survivors Lead Spartan Existence in Suspense Thriller

Paul (Joel Edgerton) managed to find a safe refuge for his family that was far from the rest of humanity in order to escape the deadly plague that has been decimating the Earth’s population. At least that’s what he thought, until his wife Sarah’s (Carmen Ejogo) father somehow caught the disease.

After she and their son (Kelvin Harrison, Jr.) said their goodbyes while wearing germ-proof respirators, Paul shot his father-in-law and cremated the body in order to prevent it from infecting them. As the body was being cremated, Travis the 17-year-old grandson, comforted himself by telling his pet dog Stanley “Don’t worry, I’m going to take care of you.” Unfortunately, Stanley is the next to die in It Comes at Night, a suspense thriller that is set inside a darkened cabin in the woods.

The movie was written and directed by Trey Edward Shults who made an impressive debut a few years ago with Krisha. Also, of local interest, Princeton native Jonathan Yi was the assistant location manager for the film.

The plot thickens when a family of refugees, desperate for shelter and food, shows up. Against his better judgment, Paul invites the strangers to share their already meager rations, after he accepts their assurances that none of them is infected.

The family’s Patriarch Will (Christopher Abbott) reassures Paul that they’re healthy, but there’s something suspicious about the way Will’s wife, Kim (Riley Keough), keeps their baby covered up. Events proceed uneventfully, until things mysteriously start to happen in the middle of the night.

Excellent (****). Rated R for profanity, violence, and disturbing images. Running time: 97 minutes. Production Studio: Animal Kingdom. Distributor: A24.