IT COMES AT NIGHT crept in to creep us out in 2017, with an up-close & personal story of two families caught in the cataclysm of a society-destroying plague event. It eerily summons the 2020—? bacterial siege that saw people watching tension-torquing movies like this not in a crowded theater with an appreciatively shivering crowd, but while locked down at home, sulking and stewing over the perceived indignity of temporary restrictions.
A contagion scours the planet. Deep in their wooded retreat, ‘Paul’ (Joel Edgerton), ‘Sarah’ (Carmen Ejogo) and their teenage son ‘Travis’ (Kelvin Harrison, Jr.) fort up and try to hold a semblance of sanity while waiting it out. When a desperate stranger tries to break into their place, they capture him. After ‘Will’ (Christopher Abbott) makes a convincing case that he was just looking for water for his wife ‘Kim’ (Riley Keough) and their little boy, they decide to team up in the compound, taking a gamble on security through strength in numbers. Biological bugs are outside, but the germs of paranoia lurk within.
Written & directed by Trey Edward Shults, his spare and smart script and clear-eyed guidance elicit strong performances from the micro cast. Ever-present tension and mordant dread contest flickering hope and the need for connection. In this instance, less is more, pointed to a painful reckoning.
Made for $5,000,000, this microbial misery loved company, with a US domestic gross of $13,985,000 (114th place for the year) was buoyed by another $5,735,000 global spread, followed by a variant $1,261,000 in disc sales. 91 minutes.