Trey Edward Shults’ follow-up to last year’s Krisha is an intimately unnerving post-apocalyptic horror-drama in which the real threat isn’t outside — it’s already lurking within. Even without knowing the story that inspired It Comes at Night, Shults’ latest feels far more personal than his directorial debut and every bit as disquieting (and then some). I sat down with Shults the day after a special screening of It Comes at Night, which involved a bus ride out to an undisclosed location in the middle of the woods and seemed like an elaborate ploy to murder us all.
Tales of the apocalypse are no longer particularly terrifying in 2017, when the end of the world feels all but impending. The real horror is what happens after the world ends, when the surviving few are forced to continue on and cope with what’s left of it. The same could also be said for the devastating experience of losing a loved one, especially if that loss is unnatural and witnessed firsthand by the bereaved. This is the concept that profoundly transforms the basic premise of It Comes at Night into an emotional thesis in which filmmaker Trey Edward Shults posits grief as a personal post-apocalypse — how do you live in the end of the world after your world comes to an end?
Pronouns — terrifying, right? At least when they don’t have antecedents, that is. There’s suspense baked right into the title of It Comes At Night, the upcoming feature from Trey Edward Shults, director of last year’s self-assured debut Krisha. So what is the ‘it,’ and why is it coming at night? The attendees of the Overlook Film Festival are keeping mum, having gotten the first glimpse at the film this past weekend when it popped up as the festival’s secret surprise screening. They offered rapturous but spoiler-free praise, but luckily for the rest of us, a new trailer and poster have surfaced to shed a little light on what’s going on while simultaneously compounding the mystery.
Folks, especially horror fans, you’re going to want to keep It Comes At Night on your radar. An outbreak movie with a twist, Trey Edward Shults’ new movie focuses on a family trying to survive a deadly plague who have to make a terrible choice: deny a man shelter or give it to him, at the risk of exposure to one killer illness.
It’s fitting that the first trailer for It Comes At Night debuted on the same day as the trailer for Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled — both are intriguing genre films from acclaimed directors who have a knack for distinctive visuals. But where Coppola’s film has a subtle element of horror, the new film from Trey Edward Shults looks downright horrific and pretty darn spooky.
It’s always exciting to see the latest work from a beloved director, or to watch a great actor return to a classic role. But one of the most underrated pleasures of going to the movies is discovery; watching an actor you’d never heard of before surprise you with their incredible range or charisma, or realizing, in real time, that you’re witnessing the work of a major new artist. It really doesn’t get much better than that.
There’s no doubt about it – Trey Edward Shults’ feature film debut ‘Krisha’ is intense as hell. It’s a family drama about addiction and alcoholism that’s far from easy to digest, yet one with little resemblance to films about similar topics. From the aggressive, yet exhilarating ‘Trainspotting’ to the utterly traumatizing ‘Requiem for a Dream,’ many films about addicts rely on graphic depictions of substance abuse to portray how low one can fall. As important as such stories can be, sometimes smaller personal traumas resonate the loudest.