Review / ‘It Comes at Night’ (MA) ***

Share Canberra's trusted news:

FOR his second feature, writer/director Trey Edward Shults sets an ensemble cast to confront a mysterious malign influence that makes a family wear gas masks outside their family forest home and repel all who intrude on their protective isolation.

It’s been billed as a horror film. But its story is not so much horror as horrid, with tensions and conflicts building slowly to a denouement that takes little resolution from what has preceded it.

Australian actor Joel Edgerton plays Paul, living with Afro-American wife Sarah (Carmen Ejogo) and adolescent son Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr). The film begins with Paul euthanising his father and incinerating the body. A stranger arrives and is made unwelcome. He spends the night tied to a tree with a sack over his head and a gag in his mouth. Next day, Paul and Travis free him and learn that he is desperate to find uncontaminated water.

Paul and Sarah bring Will (Christopher Abbott) and his wife and child to their house under strict conditions that Paul spells out. In time, Will decides to take his family back to where they previously lived, setting in motion a turmoil that grows into a disaster.

Anxieties within Travis’s persona and conflicts with his father form a significant part of the film. Travis has nightmares in which he contracts the sickness.

While engaging enough in a minor way, the film asks questions without answering them, thus detracting from its impact and asking us to set aside the breaches of credibility caused by lapses in its logistic values. But compared with other examples in its genre, it holds its own well enough.

At Palace Electric and Dendy

Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Previous articleGrattan / Everything’s going Bill Shorten’s way
Next articleReview / ‘Spider Man: Homecoming’ (M) *
Dougal Macdonald
“CityNews” film reviewer

Leave a Reply