It Comes At Night ⭐⭐⭐

Is ‘Art-house Horror’ now a thing? I am referring to the small budgeted, more atmospheric than scary horror/indie thriller where little is explained about the horrible circumstances that the characters find themselves in and the film relies on the audience to fill in those blanks from their previous cinematic/TV experience. Here, we have a mixed race family (very 2017!) headed by Joel Edgerton who have boarded themselves inside a big, creepy house from an unknown and unexplained plague and everyone’s an enemy until proven otherwise. Should they help and befriend Christopher Abbot’s intruder and his wife and young son in exchange for food and human company? So far so mysterious, and to its credit, director-writer Trey Edward Shults manages to sustain this tension throughout the film via unsettling and claustrophobic cinematography, fluid editing that blurs nightmare with reality and a screenplay that plays up the ambiguity as to who’s the good guy and who isn’t. This is a great calling card for Shults and his future film-making career, but after teasing its audience for 90mins, the film’s climactic reveal feels uncompromisingly underplayed and while this works for the art-house crowd, the horror crowd might feel shortchanged and rather ambivalent, just like the ending they have witnessed as they walk out with a collective shrug.

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