Best thing you'll see all week: It Comes at Night

At first glance, it just looks like another post-apocalypse.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

2017 Horror Roundup Thread

I had not heard of this until Friday when a coworker asked if I was interested in It Only Comes Out At Night, which according to him was some kind of horror/comedy. So that’s what I knew about it before going in today. I gotta get that guy to screen all my movies now.


I loved everything about it. I had heard little other than a trailer I watched a month ago and then the good reviews started rolling in; none of which I read outside of the headlines. As I said in the 2017 Horror Roundup thread in the forums, Don’t read or watch anything. Don’t even read Tom’s overview/summary/impression/review. :) Go see it untainted by any details. The title is about the only information you need to get your brain started as it sets the stage perfectly for what is in store.

EDIT: That said, re-reading Tom’s spot on thoughts, I got goose bumps reflecting how accurate they are and how good the film is. The best horror movies make you think more than many genres as, to me, they present large issues of life we all experience in a setting in which we cannot really imagine ourselves. Until midway through or at the end. Or maybe 20 minutes after it has finished as you still sit in your car in the theater parking lot. Then it hits you that one or more of those characters are you and you reconsider things about life and yourself. Sometimes more deeply than other times. This one hits home early on as much as any I can remember and certainly unlike any other film.

I thought I was struck by the power of Get Out, but I did so in a way that acknowledged the underlying horror revealed that is the point of the film and the role I play in that. It Comes at Night displays more of an active role which I play daily and challenges me to look at it harder than I may wish.

I’m terrible at this. My rambling in movie analysis is worse than politics and religion. ;)


There’s a pretty great interview with Shultz over at The A.V. Club -

Interesting that the movie was written as a way of processing grief over his father’s death. Check out his influences on the making of the movie too.


Awesome. Great read. Thanks @divedivedive I love his description of the feeling and emotions he wants to elicit and, for me, he did so wonderfully.

Really need to go watch Krisha now. @tomchick, have you seen it?


I have not seen Krishna, but I certainly intend to.



I liked this movie. I got home excited to listen to the podcast, and then I realized there wasn’t one. Glad to at least have this review from Tom though.


I thought this was incredible. So happy I was able to go into it knowing nothing at all about it. I wasn’t surprised at all to find out afterwards that it’s the same director as Krisha.


Good god I’m glad I didn’t watch the trailer beforehand. Not only does that spoil waaaay too much, it’s incredibly misleading as to the tone of the film.


I agree. We saw this last night and the trailer is incredibly annoying, spoilery, and misleading to say the least.

I did like this movie, but yeah it’s incredibly dark. Extremely well crafted and the tension is well-established early and keeps going, with maybe a bit of a loose middle (for various reasons).

— Alan


Just saw this, and fortunately I had not seen any trailers or any publicity prior to going in to see it. I’m not sure what I think about it. Also, @Mike_Cathcart, your coworker has an interesting take on movie genres.


Yeah, I was far enough removed from stumbling on the trailer a month prior that I only vaguely remembered bits. It is stupid and some of the Audience reviews on Rotten Tomatoes reflect how some people clearly got something far different than what they expected and what I think was a terrible marketing choice . Or a brilliant one. Depending on what the goal of the marketing was. If that makes sense without describing the actual trailer. :)

I am still thinking about it over a week later and about very specific scenes that affect me when reconsidering them. It is supremely dark, but in a very human way. I think that is why it is so gripping and why it will continue to be memorable for me.


SO I did watch Krisha last night. It definitely feels like a first time director. The performances were a bit uneven and that threw me off at times, but I definitely felt the pain of family dysfunction. My Mom has had a bumpy ride through life and has made some terrible choices that still haunt her and have left her lonely. So the main character felt shockingly familiar. Our family is confrontation averse, so we have rarely if ever had the events transpire that occurred in this movie though. Maybe we could benefit from more close quarters interaction. :)

I believe Tom in his It Comes at Night review referenced the directors Shults had worked with and I am assuming some of that was after Krisha as the improvement between latter movie and the former is amazing. If you have time for a lot of movie watching and are interested in seeing a harsh, but honest family drama and further want to see the where Shults started, I would recommend it. Otherwise, I am not sure it is worth a recommendation.


I think I’m more on the audience side of this one. While I appreciate the excellent and suspenseful run-up to the finale, it didn’t feel to me as if anyone was able to make any meaningful choices in this movie, and if they did… would it even matter? The doomsday machine churns on to its inevitable end, with or without these characters in tow.

To me, well made, but unsatisfying as an experience. Maybe it’d be a good recommendation for film school students looking for tips on technique? I’d put The Witch way way above this.

Also how did the kid get infected? He sleepwalks, fine, but the house is always locked from the inside, yes?


Ok wait wait we gotta discuss the ending. @rowe33 said

I felt similarly, until I started looking at it from the angle that Travis opened the door during his nightmare. Andrew couldn’t have done it as he’s too short. Kim, Will, and Andrew were all healthy, just Travis was sick. Paul murders three healthy folks that were just trying to get away from the illness, once Will realized what had happened.

Er… what? So the door was locked from the inside, and someone else unlocked it?

If so then why did the couple continually refuse to show the kid’s face to the homeowner who asked to see him over and over?

I guess I wasn’t smart enough to understand this movie, or something?


I think the viewer’s free to interpret it how they want since it’s never clarified exactly what happens.

I think Travis goes out looking for his dog at night while in his nightmare, finds it, and brings it back. He’s the one that unlocks the door, then leaves it open when he goes to bed. Doesn’t make sense that any adults unlocked and opened it, and the little kid’s too small to reach.

I thought the face thing (I think they specifically tell him to keep his eyes closed) was weird but I’m reading it as them not wanting Andrew to see what might happen if things go badly. But it can also mean that they don’t want anyone to see his eyes changing, or whatever happens when they get sick.


I do not think repeated direct request refusal to show the child can be interpreted any other way — at gunpoint, even. The whole situation could have been instantly defused.


Yeah, but there’s no reason for him to hide Andrew being sick at this point. He’s got a gun pointed at Paul and they’re leaving. He wouldn’t care if Paul sees Andrew’s sick because it wouldn’t matter either way. The situation can’t be defused because Will knows Travis is probably sick and they want to get out of there. I took things in the ‘Andrew is sick’ way at first then changed my mind a little bit after watching it. Makes the ending a lot more tragic and interesting to me.


Have to say, I still don’t get it. Why be so vehemently against showing the kid to the homeowner? What purpose does that serve? It seems very artificial and movie-like to make that happen for no reason, if the kid wasn’t sick? He could have said, look, our kid isn’t sick, we’re leaving and there would have been no tragedy… other than eventual death for everyone from the disease, which is already inevitable at that point. WHY hide the kid?

Sorry, I can’t remember any of the character names.


Although there’s a lot of intentional ambiguity in the ending – I don’t think there’s any indication of how the door got unlocked – I thought it was pretty clear that Will’s little boy was indeed sick. Otherwise, that would mean Paul’s paranoia is entirely unjustified. Seems to me an important point in the movie is that by letting in Will and his family, Will dooms his own family.

By the way, if you guys like the actors in this, the guys who plays Will is named Christopher Abbott. He’s awesome in a movie called Sweet Virginia.