It Comes at Night : Despairing Vision of Fear and Paranoia
The closest Shults ever came in providing a pretext to the events unfolding onscreen is when his camera traces the nuances of the Pieter Bruegel’s painting – “The Triumph of Death” which hangs ominously inside the cabin in the middle of nowhere. Almost void of any exposition otherwise, it is from this painting and then through some dense conversations that we are exposed to the apocalypse in the form of a mysterious illness which has took its stronghold. It looks like the Biblical end times, one sans of hope and meaning, whose origins are never told.
When a troubled young couple comes seeking respite from the disaster outside, Paul (Joel Edgerton) and his family’s painstakingly constructed survival routine gets a jolt in its back. The dynamics change as nightmares converge to realities and realities seemingly feel fictional. Eventually, the fear of the unknown mystical illness transcends into mistrust within the group and this is where Shults masterfully weaves in paranoia, the apex gut wrenching thematic element of It Comes at Night.
In his followup to emotionally exhaustive Krisha, Trey Edward Shults has created a maniacally distorted portrayal of fear and paranoia. He has constructed a despairing vision of terror which is hanging from every frame, menacingly lurking in the dark alleyways and hiding in the opaque shadows. It Comes at Night will crawl under your skin, rotting the insides with its poisonous post-apocalyptic dread.