It Comes at Night

A couple of weeks ago I went to see “It Comes at Night”.

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I was interested in seeing it because I haven’t seen a horror movie in the theater in a while and I also had heard a story on NPR that dealt with the family dynamics in the film. I also liked that the film promised to have dystopian elements to it. I like dystopian stuff during good times and in times like this country is facing now dystopian stories really speak to me.

“It Comes at Night” was different than I thought it would be. It was basically a stripped down zombie/virus movie that doesn’t have initial outbreak element to it. It really is just about a family living in the woods trying to survive.  The film is much more about family dynamics and human trust than it is about the virus/illness that is killing people.  The main family is a father (Joe Edgerton), a mother (Carmen Ejogo) and a teenage son (Kelvin Harrison Jr.).

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There is a lot going on with this family. There are tensions between father and son but it’s interesting to try to figure out what is usual teenage stuff, what is the situation they find themselves all in and what might have been from before the “outbreak”.

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The story gets more complicated when a man (Christopher Abbott) tries to break into their house looking for food and water for his wife and son. As the man’s family combines with the family we’ve already been watching it is fascinating to watch the two families try to survive and help each other while realizing that they can never fully trust each other.

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The film isn’t really a horror movie and that’s okay. It is dark and the ending isn’t one that leaves you with hope. If you’re looking for a thrill a minute movie this isn’t the film for you. However, if you are looking for a character study with some strong performances it’s worth your time…not to mention if you like dark dystopian stuff like I do.

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Here is a description:

Justin Gomez and his sister, Terri, have never been close. Separated by nine years and distant in adulthood, Justin and Terri have little in common, except for the love of her three children. In the days before they embark on a road trip to visit the father that once abandoned them and their now deceased mother, both Terri and Justin are dealing with unexpected changes in their lives. Justin surprisingly realizes he might want more than a series of one night stands after a first date goes unexpectedly well. After a lifetime of being a strong type A personality, Terri is forced to confront the reality of the end of her marriage. As they hit the road, with Terri’s children in tow, they find themselves forced to rely on and confide in each other following a devastating event. Confronted with memories from the past and challenges from the present, Terri and Justin must dig deep and unearth the truth about themselves and their parents in order to build a new family based on their love for each other.

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