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It Comes at Night 2017

It Comes at Night

It Comes at Night

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About the It Comes at Night 💬

Imagine the end of the world. Now imagine something worse. Filmmaker Trey Edward Shults follows his breakout debut Krisha with the psychological horror thriller It Comes At Night, centering on a teenaged boy (Kelvin Harrison, Jr.) as he grapples with mounting terrors - external and otherwise - in the aftermath of an unnamed cataclysm.

Secure within a desolate home with his vigilant, protective and heavily armed parents (Joel Edgerton and Carmen Ejogo), 17-year-old Travis navigates fear, grief, and paranoia amid scarce resources as a desperate young couple (Christopher Abbott and Riley Keough) seeks refuge in his family home with their young child.

Despite the best intentions of both families, panic and mistrust boil over as the horrors of the outside world creep ever closer. But they are nothing compared to the horrors within, where Travis discovers that his father's commitment to protecting the family may cost him his soul.


Shults began writing IT COMES AT NIGHT in between Krisha's yearlong transformation from short film to feature-length debut. In that period of time, he lost his father, whose long battle with addiction had been an inspiration for Krisha's character. A seven-year estrangement led to a deathbed reconciliation with his father, which in turn became a powerful inspiration for the filmmaker's subsequent feature. ''He was full of regret for the way he had lived his life, all I could do was try and help him find peace before he died,'' Shults explains. ''It fed into my own fears about mortality. My biggest fear is being on my deathbed with regrets.'' These concerns led to Shults probing larger ideas of parent/child relationships, and thinking about how a younger generation can transcend what they see as the mistakes and drawbacks of their parents. Another concern was finding a way to move on from the tragedy of losing a parent, a personal reflection that came to haunt the film.

IT COMES AT NIGHT opens with the indelible image of an elderly man being comforted on his deathbed by his daughter Sarah (Carmen Ejogo) before he is carried to a gravesite in the forest and executed by the family patriarch, Paul (Joel Edgerton). His body is dumped in a shallow grave and burned while Sarah and Travis watch mournfully from a distance. ''What Sarah says to her father before Paul puts him out of his misery to protect the family is exactly what I said to my father as he was dying,'' Shults explains. ''The rest of the movie sprung out of that singular image.''


Triumph of Death-Pieter Bruegel

The apocalyptic veneer of IT COMES AT NIGHT was inspired by several tableaux by the Renaissance painter Pieter Breughel, including the 1562 plague vision The Triumph of Death, which appears early in the film as a foreshadowing of Travis's subjective delirium. Shults holds a deep fascination for Breughel's hellscapes - they appear in Krisha and also held prominence alongside firearms on the walls of his grandparents' Texas farm, which became a powerful influence on the filmmaker's young imagination. To this day, Breughel prints hang in Shults' own bedroom, weighing heavily on his cinematic vision. ''Breughel's work, with its fire, destruction and corpses, has always been a huge inspiration,'' Shults says. ''When I was imagining the world of IT COMES AT NIGHT, I thought about my grandparents' home, but my interest in those hellscapes goes beyond the literal.''

More harrowing than the chaos raging outside in IT COMES AT NIGHT is the horror of a family under attack from the inside. The fear and threat of outsiders, symbolized by Will's home invasion early in the story, result in two families coming together as one after Paul, out of empathy, agrees to share resources with Will and Kim. As in Krisha, the blending of an extended family amid escalating crisis - and the invasion of an outsider - makes for a particular kind of horror, rooted in the destructive forces of fear, paranoia and mistrust that course through every family line, and every society. ''I'm interested in examining how far families will go to preserve themselves,'' Shults explains. ''Some subjects are ingrained and family is one of them for me. There are no bad guys here. Just people trying to protect their families and survive this cataclysm.''

It Comes at Night Movie Details 🎥

Directed by

Trey Edward Shults

Writing Credits

Trey Edward Shults


Joel Edgerton

Riley Keough

Christopher Abbott

Carmen Ejogo

Kelvin Harrison Jr.

Griffin Robert Faulkner

David Pendleton

Music by

Brian McOmber

Cinematography by

Drew Daniels

Genres: Horror, Mystery

Country: United States

It Comes at Night Official Trailer

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