Ever walk into a movie that seemed to promise one thing, only to deliver something quite different?
“It Comes at Night” is a small shoebox horror /drama that kind of just done that with me. It feels like I got the movie equivalent of mixed signal sexts from some chick in a bar, only to find out she really just needed to talk to someone about how she’s packing away the cheese between meals because she’s not happy with her job.
ICAM takes place in some unspecified piece of rural land (presumably American), where a small family keep themselves barricaded away from a fatal illness which has decimated the population of a nearby city.
Cautious and mistrustful of anyone who comes along, they inevitably take in another family of survivors. Morals become tested in the face of ruthless pragmatism. Sh*t goes wrong.
I went into this with the expectation of a monster movie (the title pretty much promises it in black and white), and what I got instead was a sombre and slower-paced character piece that while well shot and acted, was unfinished and trying too hard to take the cinematic high road.
It’s almost as though they started with a monster movie then ditched the idea for fear of running into cliches along the way.
While it manages to look really rich (the editing reminded me a little of “There Will Be Blood”), it doesn’t take us anywhere and the end left me wishing they actually went with a monster rather than a giving us a flat tyre on a reinvented wheel.