Sunday, 9 July 2017

It Comes At Night. A short review.

I've mentioned this before but I love going to see a film I know nothing about. It's great. It's a little thrill like gambling, not knowing whether the film you've paid for is going to be any good or not.

It Comes At Night, I'm happy to say is really good. Grim as jaysus but really good.

Set at some time in the near future, the world has been hit hard by an unspecified apocalypse. People are on the run, hiding out in isolated places and living off whatever food and water they can scavenge. And defending what is their's with deadly force. A man, woman, their teenage son and their old dog live a quiet life in a boarded up house in the woods. Being careful is their watchword. Security is paramount. Nothing is done without careful planning. One night a man arrives at their door and changes everything.

Whoa, this was effective stuff. Terrifying, overwhelming, claustrophobic and utterly gripping. It makes for a superb horror film and yet it's an intimate family drama too. We see just what desperation will do to people. We see how despair ties people together. How fast men fall back into prehistoric hunter gatherer mode. How quickly we will turn animalistic to protect what's ours. It doesn't take much and shows just how close to falling apart society is at all times. The oppressive, bass heavy soundtrack and the woodland location make the film feel very penned in and suffocating and scenes framed by gnarled tree branches and tentacle like roots lend a sinister edge to even normal shots of woodlands. It's very subdued in it's horrors too. We rarely see anything yet feel everything. Great film-making.

Joel Edgerton is superb in the lead role of Paul. A terrifying but loving father who will do anything to protect his family. He's turning into a cracking every-man actor. Carmen Ejogo is great as Sarah, the backbone of the family. A calming influence but one that's about this * * far from snapping. And Kelvin Harris hits the spot as son Travis too and does some top notch acting, a lot from facial expressions alone.

A tough but compelling and frighteningly realistic film that will suck you in. Plus it's only 90 minutes long. Perfect.

Go see it quickly though. This won't be in the cinema for long. 

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