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It Comes at Night

Definitely one of the quietest and strangest takes on a horror film I've seen in years, IT COMES AT NIGHT is interesting, occasionally suspenseful, very well acted and not quite what I would call entertainment.

Joel Edgerton (Zero Dark Thirty, Midnight Special) stars as Paul, a man with his wife Sarah (Carmen Ejogo of "Selma") and son Travis held close to his side inside their boarded up home. Something has happened in the world that's killed much of the population.

You never really see much of the country beyond their home, but its clear that the world has gone to hell and any social order has been replaced by an "every man for himself" lifestyle.

Edgerton carves out a great performance as Paul, a tortured man who's decided that there is no step too extreme to protect his family. You can see that some of those actions torture him beneath the surface, but he's all tough guy on the outside shell.

When another man breaks into their home for food and then brings his young wife and son to live with Paul's family in their boarded up safety, a slow, creeping sense of dread grows in the film.

Where trust should grow, paranoia thrives.

Where friendship and relationships would seem natural, a fear of the worst burns and then takes hold.

To say more would be to rob the film of its surprises, which arent plentiful but are powerful.

It's a great cast and its well directed on what appears to be a very small budget.

Writer/Director Trey Edward Shults is widely recognized as a brilliant young filmmaker. He's clearly talented.

Edgerton and Ejogo are excellent and their unspoken language as spouses seems effortless, especially in the VERY worst of times. Kelvin Harrison, Jr is very good as their 17 year old son. As some of his communication choices and split second decisions in the final third of them film drive major events, you can see the anguish on his face. He's a teenager in a world gone silent and its painful to watch.

But not nearly as painful as the film's final moments. Characters face loss and tragedy that feels so real it's like you are ease-dropping on their most personal of moments.

When tragedy is portrayed this intimately, you can appreciate the acting and the emotions that it stirs in you, but it doesn't make it entertainment.

IT COMES AT NIGHT is well crafted in every aspect, but it does come off as all tease and no delivery in some aspects and I can not in any measure say I enjoyed it.

I appreciated it enough to give it a B-, but its far too painful to enjoy. Viewers beware.

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