I’m just going to come right out and say that I absolutely adored this film. There are very few horror movies I can think of that have been released in the last decade that are as good as this film. The few that immediately come to mind are "Let the Right One In," "It Follows," "A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night," "The Cabin in the Woods," "The Witch," "The Skin I Live In," "The Babadook," and "Get Out,"

It’s definitely more of a cerebral horror film that most certainly is not for everyone. It utilizes an ever-looming sense of dread over copious amounts of gore or cheap jump scares.

While some people might find the film disappointing or lacking in some areas, I personally think it’s not only one of the best horror movies to come out in 2017, but also one of the best movies to come out so far this year -- period.

The plot

"It Comes at Night," directed by Trey Edward Shults, mostly takes place inside the isolated home of Paul (Joel Edgerton), who lives in it along with his wife Sarah (Carmen Ejogo) and their teenage son Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.). Due to an unknown and devastating illness that seems to have taken its toll on the rest of humanity, Paul has gone to great lengths to secure every facet of his home.

All of the windows are boarded up and every entrance to the house is blocked off except for one door that’s to remain locked at all times. On top of this, he develops a very strict set of rules in order to keep his family safe from whatever’s out there. Of all his rules, the number one rule is that no one is allowed in or out of the house at night.

However, the order so painstakingly established by Paul is challenged with the addition of another family desperately seeking refuge. Will (Christopher Abbott), his wife Sarah (Riley Keough), and their five-year-old son Andrew (Griffin Robert Faulkner) need water while Paul’s family needs food, which Will’s family has plenty of, thus creating a mutual dependence between the two families.

Unfortunately, when paranoia begins to settle in, the peaceful coexistence the families initially shared transforms into hostility as the horror lurking in every human being’s soul begins to rear its ugly head.

Reaction [Spoilers]

The one thing that I thought was positively brilliant about this film was how subversive the title, the marketing campaign, and even Travis’ nightmares throughout the film were. Everything about this movie screamed “monster/zombie flick”-- fortunately this wasn’t the case. Obviously not everybody will be thrilled about this, and the reaction of the theatre I saw it in was pretty mixed, with one person even half-jokingly saying, “So what came at night?”

The film leaves subtle hints throughout suggesting that Paul wasn’t necessarily protecting his family from some unstoppable monster or a massive horde of zombies.

What he was really protecting his family from was other people meaning to steal their supplies or possibly their home, as well as infection from a deadly illness that seemed to resemble the Bubonic Plague more than some fictional zombie disease.

When Paul and Will go on an expedition to find Will’s family, the two of them are attacked. However, what attacks them aren’t monsters, zombies, etc., instead they’re attacked by regular people every bit as desperate to survive as they are. The true terror of this film doesn’t lie within typical horror/monster movie clichés, but rather in the very real and ever-present dark nature of humanity lying dormant in every person -- which manages to manifest when in a life or death situation.

Final review: 8.5/10.