A fairly straightforward post-apocalyptic story, tightly focused on human torment, but suffused with surprising, undeniably atmospheric sights and sounds.
Edgerton gives another masterly minimalist performance, and Ejogo and Harrison are preternaturally alert.
Scored intensely and photographed vividly, the electric film imagines a small slice of doomsday with horrific believability.
It's not a sexy apocalypse, with a disease that transforms everyone into really cool zombies. It's just death. And it's not an easily managed "Doomsday Preppers" scenario solved by bulk foods from Jim Bakker infomercials. It's just doom.
Midway through "It Comes at Night" you might wonder where it's headed, and it seems Shults may have asked himself the same question. It's a breathless thriller that will leave you gasping until it finally runs out of air itself.
In the absence of such answers, or the intimation of such answers, or even of characters in pursuit of answers, It Comes at Night begins to seem thin, a torment without purpose.
[A] spare but savage horror movie ...
Mr. Shults doesn't jolt the audience with false scares or showy plot twists. He builds up the dread with ruthless efficiency and minimal gimmickry, relying on and refreshing some of the oldest techniques in the book.
As he did in "Krisha," Shults avoids the conventional trap of exposition, relying instead on his striking command of the medium to evoke the inner life of a family under extraordinarily bleak circumstances.