I’ve had lots of conversations with people about Trey Edward Shults’ recent film It Comes at Night (2017)—about what it means, how to interpret the ending, and what “It” is. This post is most definitely for those of you who have seen the film and who want to think more about it (so–spoiler alert). Here are five different opinions on what happens and what “It” might be.
2017 R USA Trey Edward Shults 91 mins.
I’ve been anticipating Trey Edward Shults’s It Comes at Night since I first saw the preview, and it does not disappoint. Indeed, the film exceeded all my expectations. Shults’s second feature film (his first, Krisha, won the Grand Jury Award at South by Southwest in 2015) is a brilliant exercise in building tension: every encounter, every conversation, every shot induces anxiety and dread. The performances of all the actors are superb (especially Joel Edgerton as Paul and Kelvin Harrison, Jr. as his son Travis). Each character pulls you in, making you feel their distinctiveness, making you feel for and with each of them. It Comes at Night, moreover, is unambiguously a film of our historical moment—and it should, and will, prompt conversations about what it’s saying about immigration and borders (open or closed) in 2017.