Movie review: 'It Comes at Night'

Brad Keefe

If the movie-going public was more adventurous, we would have a lot more movies like “It Comes at Night.” And that would be a great thing.

The new horror-thriller released by the best damn indie studio in the game, A24, is both simple and morally complex, housed in a near-future world of the unknown.

You may rightly hear the buzz that it's one of the year's best horror movies, and while that's correct, don't expect anything simple or tidy.

Paul (Joel Edgerton) lives in a boarded-up house in the woods with his wife, Sarah (Carmen Ejogo), and teenage son, Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.).

In a tense and captivating opening scene, the family wears gas masks and says their farewells to Travis' deathly ill grandfather. Paul shoots him in the head. The family burns the body.

This is the world we are in.

I won't give away more. This is well-worn territory in zombie movies, but “It Comes at Night” treats this as the backdrop for a thoughtful, often terrifying look at human nature.

Writer-director Trey Edward Shults follows up his excellent “Krisha” with a movie that solidifies him as a director I will follow consistently. He plays with darkness and claustrophobia onscreen, but also makes his characters deeply human and relatable.

The cast is uniformly superb, particularly Edgerton (who serves as executive producer) and the young Harrison Jr.

All I'll say is this: We need more movies like this. For that to happen, you need to go to the theater and see it.

“It Comes at Night”

Opens Friday

4 stars out of 5