Review: Paranoia thriller It Comes At Night is impressively tense and ineffably creepy

Joel Edgerton as Paul in It Comes At Night. Picture: A24

Joel Edgerton as Paul in It Comes At Night. Picture: A24 - Credit: Archant

A family faces the onslaught of a disease that has decimated America in a slow-burning psychological thriller directed by Trey Edward Shults.

It Comes At Night (15)

****

As the title suggests, this is a scary film; it just isn't the scary film that the title suggests.

A virulent contagion, which manifests as pus-filled boils, has swept the globe, pitting neighbours against one another for survival in Trey Edward Shults' slow-burning psychological thriller.


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Paul (Joel Edgerton) and his wife Sarah (Carmen Ejogo) decide to ride out the storm with their son Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr) by living in a fortified shack in the middle of the woods, monitoring each other for signs of infection.

One night, the family wakes to noises in the house and Paul realises to his horror that someone or something from the outside has gate-crashed the sanctuary.

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This is a reflection on the great myth of survivalism. Edgerton has barricaded his family away and behind a locked red door, the rest of the world is a great unknown.

It's like 10 Cloverfield Lane, but with reasonable people, trying to deal reasonably with an unreasonable situation. It's impressively tense and the air of paranoia is magnificently sustained, with a minimum of incidents. The music score by Brian McOmber works wonders and the nighttime scenes of lamplight against wood panelling are ineffably creepy.

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