Directed By
Trey Edward Shults
Produced By
David Kaplan
Andrea Roa
Written By
Trey Edward Shults
Edited By
Trey Edward Shults
Matthew Hannam
Drew Daniels
Music By
Brian McOmber
Distributed By
United States
Release Date
June 9, 2017
91 minutes
Rating R.gif
$2.4 million
$19.3 million

It Comes at Night is an American horror film directed by Trey Edward Shults. The film is also written by Shults. The cast of the film consists of Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo, Kelvin Harrison Jr., and Riley Keough.

Plot[edit | edit source]

“It Comes at Night,” a beautiful bummer of a horror movie written and directed by Trey Edward Shults, unfolds during the outbreak of an airborne illness that has decimated humanity and driven a family of four into the wilderness. The stakes are high, the losses severe. In the opening scene the family’s oldest member (played by David Pendleton), his body racked with disease, gets a teary, apologetic farewell from his daughter, Sarah (Carmen Ejogo), shortly before her husband, Paul (Joel Edgerton), wheels him outside and puts a bullet in his brain.

The killing is treated as an act of mercy, but Shults, the prodigiously talented 28-year-old filmmaker who made his debut with last year’s “Krisha,” refuses to let his characters off the hook that easily. The gas masks that Paul and Sarah are wearing early on make it difficult to tell them apart or understand their muffled speech, producing an alien-like effect that is both disorienting and revealing. In their desperation to survive, the movie seems to suggest, these people have already lost some crucial measure of their humanity.

Soon the masks come off and we get to know Paul, Sarah, and their 17-year-old son, Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), as they go about the tough business of everyday survival. Along with their mutt, Stanley, they have taken refuge in a ramshackle house in a forest a long way from civilization. They keep the windows boarded up, the door locked and their firearms at the ready, lest they are discovered by outsiders who might want to raid their dwindling supply of water and rations — or, worse, who might be infected with the disease.

One night they are surprised by a non-hostile intruder named Will (Christopher Abbott), who claims to be seeking help for his wife, Kim (Riley Keough), and their toddler son, Andrew (Griffin Robert Faulkner), who are staying several miles away. Paul roughs Will up at first, trusting neither his intentions nor his story, but in Edgerton’s precisely judged performance, we see the decency and compassion flickering beneath his gruff authoritarian veneer. When it turns out that Will and his family have food to spare, Paul and Sarah realize the wisdom of pooling their resources and warily invite them to move in.

For a while, the mood lightens, as both parties adjust to the situation and enjoy the company and conversation of new friends. But the idyll cannot last; nor can it keep suspicion and anxiety from mounting in close quarters. The print of Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s “The Triumph of Death” hanging in Travis’ bedroom may offer a subliminal commentary on the horrors transpiring in the outside world, but they turn out to be no match for the demons within.

The stark, somber story bears echoes of everything from Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” to George Romero’s splatterific zombie epics (“Night of the Living Dead” looms particularly large here), but what sets “It Comes at Night” apart from those post-apocalyptic forebears is its radical narrative economy. We learn almost nothing about where the characters are (the film was shot near Woodstock, N.Y.), the lives they left behind, or the grim circumstances that brought them to this woodland hideaway. As he did in “Krisha,” Shults avoids the conventional trap of exposition, relying instead on his striking command of the medium to evoke the inner life of a family under extraordinarily bleak circumstances.

But if “Krisha” was a harrowing psychodrama rendered in a splintery John Cassavetes syntax, “It Comes at Night” portrays a different kind of breakdown, one etched in dim light and implacable shadows. At times the cinematographer Drew Daniels seems to take his expressive cues from Caravaggio, bathing the actors in thick walls of blackness that are illuminated only by the glimmer of flashlights and lanterns. The occasional burst of eerie, hallucinatory imagery aside, every opportunity for cheap jolts and jump scares is scrupulously avoided.

The horror arises from a deeper, subtler place, which makes it all the harder to shake off. Shults is unusually attentive to group dynamics, particularly in the way he brings out the perspective of the teenage Travis, sensitively played by Harrison as a young man whose burgeoning sexual curiosity and rebellious streak are becoming ever harder for the house’s walls to contain.

There are moments in “It Comes at Night” — a scene of Travis and Will bonding while chopping wood, a conversation between Travis and Kim that feels both innocent and flirtatious — that seem prepared to send the movie spinning off in an unpredictable and melodramatic direction. But these possibilities are canceled out by a rigorously bleak and pessimistic ending that lives up to the fatalism of the movie’s premise, confirming your worst suspicions (as if confirmation were needed) about the evil that men and women can do in the name of survival.

The final moments of “It Comes at Night” go beyond the usual standards of horror-movie bleakness to achieve almost unwatchable cruelty — a powerful accomplishment that also feels, in this context, like a limitation. The world, we’re reminded, is an irredeemably awful place, and its people are scarcely better. It’s hard to argue with that conclusion, even if it ultimately feels more like a decree than an honest discovery. 


Inspiration Behind the Film[edit | edit source]

It Comes At Night is low-key, and yet also suspenseful. The approach is so calm and quiet that you find yourself straining to hear every suggestive creak on the soundtrack or spotting an omen in the background. Is that a tree or a twisted human figure in the mid-distance as the protagonist drives through the woods? Was that tiny inconsistency in a stranger’s account of life before the crisis an honest slip or a crack in a sinister cover story? 

Night is Shults' second feature film after last year's low-budget Krisha. Like Krisha, which was inspired by a cousin's fatal overdose, Night is an unsettling and personal family drama. He started writing it in 2014 after the death of his estranged father, who struggled with substance abuse and died of pancreatic cancer.

Reconnecting at his dad's deathbed after a decade of not speaking "was a very traumatic experience," Shults says. "He had so much regret about his life and everything he loved, and I was just trying to help him find peace."

Shults' grief manifested itself in the post-apocalyptic Night, whose central relationship is between father and son. Paul repeatedly reminds Travis that "you can't trust anyone but family" (advice the director's stepdad gave him growing up). The character also equips his family with gas masks and shotguns (a nod to one of Shults' relatives who's a doomsday prepper).

Cast[edit | edit source]

Awards & Nominations[edit | edit source]

Balck Reel Awards 2018 Nominee, Casting Society of America 2018 Nominee, Fright Meter Awards 2017 Nominee, 

Golden Schmoes Awards 2017 Nominee, Golden Trailer Awards 2018 Nominee, Gothan Awards 2017 Nominee,

IHorro Awards 2018 Winner, International Online Cinema Awards 2017 Nominee, Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society Awards 2017 Nominee,

Phoenix Critics Circle 2017 Nominee, Pheonix Film Critics Society Awards 2017 Nominee.

Sound Department[edit | edit source]

Micah Blaichman ... foley mixer
Giuseppe Cappello ... sound department technician
Gabriela Celi ... sound mix facility producer
Kris Fenske ... sound effects editor
Robert Fernandez ... re-recording mixer (as Roberto Fernandez)
Matthew Haasch ... location foley: field recordist (as Matt Haasch)
Robert Hein ... sound effects editor
Bobby Johanson ... ADR mixer
Dimitri Kouri ... sound mixer
Avi Laniado ... sound engineer
Tony Martinez ... dialogue and adr editor
Duncan McRae ... sound department technician
Jay Peck ... foley artist
Mary Ellen Porto ... dialogue and adr supervisor
Michael Rivera ... ADR recordist
Tricia Schultz ... ADR coordinator
Darrell R. Smith ... harbor sound general manager
Bill Sweeney ... foley editor (as William Sweeney)
Damian Volpe ... re-recording mixer / supervising sound editor
Sam Weiner ... boom operator
Adrià Mateu ... spanish dubbing recordist 

Music Department[edit | edit source]

Tomek Arnold ... percussion
Angel Deradoorian ... synthesizer and electronics
Kris Dirksen ... trailer music
Jordan Dykstra ... additional music preparation / assistant composer / musical collaborator / percussion / score recorded by / string arranger / synthesizer and electronics / viola
Steve Flato ... guitar: microtonal
Steve Flato ... musical collaborator / synthesizer and electronics
Ben Greenberg ... musical collaborator / score recorded and mixed by / synthesizer and electronics
Ayane Kozasa ... viola
Erich Lee ... composer trailer music
Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe ... modular synthesizer / musical collaborator
Kyp Malone ... synthesizer and electronics
Brian McOmber ... additional music preparation / percussion / score recorded by / synthesizer and electronics
Katherine Gordon Miller ... music editor (as Katherine Miller)
Liam O'Neil ... synthesizer and electronics
Michael Pestel ... piano table and wind spinners
Benjamin Russell ... violin (as Ben Russell)
Dave Scanlon ... additional music preparation
Daniel Schlett ... synthesizer and electronics
Paul Wiancko ... cello / musical collaborator / score recorded by
David James Rosen ... composer: trailer 

Location Management[edit | edit source]

Steven Harris ... location scout
Wolfgang Herting ... location scout
George Marro ... additional locations: labor
Ryan Piotrowicz ... location scout
Brad Reichel ... location scout
Felix Rivera ... additional locations: labor
Justin Stowell ... location manager
Matthew Weinberger ... additional locations: labor
Jonathan Yi ... assistant location manager

Editorial Department[edit | edit source]

Dee Allen ... group color director
Amanda Bernhardt ... color assistant
Ryan Duffy ... baselight assist
Clark Henderson ... svp theatrical services: Technicolor Postworks NY
Barbara Jean Kearney ... account executive
Andrew McKay ... digital intermediate producer
Daniel Moisoff ... color assistant
Elizabeth Nagle ... color production coordinator
Aaron C. Peer ... assistant editor / dailies manager: Nice Dissolve
Sean Perry ... conform editor
Nate Seymour ... color assistant
Michael Sweeney ... assistant editor
Damien van der Cruyssen ... colorist
Natalie Westerfield ... senior color producer
Zack Wilpon ... color assistant

Casting[edit | edit source]

Dann Fink ... adr voice casting
Bruce Winant ... adr voice casting
Leeba Zakharov ... casting associate

Camera & Electrical Department[edit | edit source]

Katelin Arizmendi ... additional director of photography
C.J. Baker ... additional electric
Garland Berenzy ... additional grip
Cameron Bertron ... additional camera assistant
John Blazzi ... additional grip
Jeffrey Steven Brink ... aerial drone cinematographer
Thomas W. Cameron III ... additional camera assistant (as Thom Cameron)
Peter Caty ... Aerobo Ground Technician
Evan Childs ... dolly grip
Bum Chyba ... company grip (as Christopher Chyba)
Mario Colli ... company electric
Alex Crowe ... additional electric
Troy Dickerson ... first assistant camera (as Troy 'Teddy' Dickerson)
Lori Dinsmore ... best boy electric
Orlando Duguay ... steadicam operator
Michael Craig Ferguson ... aerial drone pilot
Dan Fethke ... additional electric
Joey Gobo ... grip: Alf unit
Chris Heitman ... additional electric / additional grip (as Chris Heitzman)
Andrew Hubbard ... gaffer
Ethan June ... key grip
Kenneth Kildee ... best boy grip
Patrick Kinney ... additional grip
Yuya Kudo ... additional camera assistant
Eric McNatt ... stills photographer
Kristin Murphy ... additional electric
Aaron C. Peer ... digital imaging technician
Jonathan Rosenblit ... second assistant camera
Gabriel Eduardo Solorzano ... additional grip (as Gabriel Solorzano)
Anthony Stracquadanio ... camera production assistant
Lyon Taylor ... second unit camera operator
Alexa Wolfe ... additional electric

Videos[edit | edit source]

Trailers[edit | edit source]


It Comes At Night Official Trailer HD A24

Official Trailer

[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Citations[edit | edit source]

Washington Post - O'Sullivan, Michael. “'It Comes at Night' Builds an Atmosphere of Almost Unbearable Psychological Horror.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 8 June 2017,

USA Today - Ryan, Patrick. “Deeply Personal 'It Comes at Night' Is the Anti-Horror Film of Summer.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 7 June 2017,

Empire - Newman, Kim. “It Comes At Night.” Empire, Bauer Media, 5 July 2017,

LA Time - Chang, Justin. “Review: 'It Comes at Night' Finds Terror in the Shadows of a Post-Apocalyptic Hideaway.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 8 June 2017,

IMBD awards – “It Comes at Night.” IMDb,, 2017,

IMBD Full Credits - “It Comes At Night.” IMDb,, 2017,

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