Director: Trey Edward Shults Starring: Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Riley Keough Running Time: 91 minutes
Shotguns getting cocked. Barking dogs. Barricaded houses. Cagey, distrustful men with southern accents. Fear of the dying and their blood and their viscera. Hiding infections. Arguments. Us or them. Shotguns getting shot.
It Comes at Night is not a film about zombies, but it’s undoubtedly a film that knows that its audience is familiar with zombie tropes, and that they can use them to follow the film’s path even as it obscures everything in darkness. When you’re as sick as the delirious, sore-covered grandfather who’s shown as this film opens, it’s immediately clear that a mercy kill is not too far away. When the environment is as tense and uncertain as what the audience sees here; a family of (recently) three hiding out in the woods after a contagious disease has ravaged the world, viewers know that almost always, human nature ends up being more dangerous than the literal threat. The last thing this equation needs is more people in it. So in, inevitably, they come.