A24 Films continues in the tradition of The Witch of substituting long-staring camera shots and dramatic dream sequences for actual plot points.
A number of critics have disseminated that the plague or sickness in the film is never identified. Some great cleverness is afoot, they argue. I say poppycock: the filmmaker is simply incompetent, or worse, taking the easy way out. It Comes at Night may have been a fine short film, but there is way too little here for a feature.
One critic — solidly in the minority — gets it:
The movie is far too solemn and high-minded to indulge in anything resembling scares or thrills, instead doubling down on the queasy atmosphere and lots of long, slow-tracking shots in which nothing happens.
Put another way: The Trigger Effect was a good movie. Toward the end of the picture our heroic father attempts to break into a house to save his young child. It Comes at Night is just that small part about trying to break into a house. You have to think a little bigger sometimes people. You’re making a movie.
One last thing: the non-ending of It Comes at Night fits this non-movie well. 3/10
Comparison Notes (recommended): the much better films 10 Cloverfield Lane and Blindness (2008)