When I saw the Rotten Tomatoes score for It Comes At Night, I knew I was in for a polarizing film because while critics thought the film was good enough to be Certified Fresh with a score of 86%, audiences only gave it a 46%. It Comes At Night is a story about a small family in a post-apocalyptic environment. While it’s not explained what exactly the virus is or how it spreads, any contact with it basically means death. Shortly after another family joins the group, we shift into a bottle film where the antagonist is their own paranoia.
It Comes At Night is a perfect example of the difference between a film and a movie. As a film, it’s pretty decent and does a lot of technical aspects right while keeping the constant wave of tension moving to hold the crowd’s interest. As a movie, this simply isn’t enjoyable for the audience. So many plot holes and unanswered questions will leave you with a bad taste in your mouth and you definitely won’t leave the theater on a positive note. Style over substance is the theme here because there isn’t any substance to be seen. They tease a post-apocalyptic world, but don’t exactly show it, they tease a supernatural element to the film that goes nowhere and is never explained. They present various possibilities of things to come but don’t pull the trigger on any of it so when the film ends, you are left with the feeling of putting your last dollar in a vending machine and the chips getting stuck. When It comes down to it, It Comes At Night just feels like a filler episode of The Walking Dead and perhaps an episode of Talking Dead after the film would have answered more questions than the actual film did.