It Comes At Night, 2017 ( Ao cair da Noite) Film
It Comes At Night, 2017 ( Ao cair da Noite)
Criticism – Fear in the Old Fashioned.
There are a lot of people who argue that part of the art of making a good horror movie is getting lost over time. With the advancement of cinematic technology, more and more we can show on the screen all kinds of creatures, monsters, diseases, deformations and what else the screenplay demands, in a direct and convincing way. And this, which might seem like an advantage, eventually hinders the ability to instigate fear in the viewer. H. P. Lovecraft already said that humanity’s oldest and strongest emotion is fear, and the oldest and strongest of all fears is the fear of the unknown. And what we see, we know.
Often when showing an image it fights terror. And by suggesting what we do not see, but which we know to be present, we are forced to deal with the unknown. Movies like Shark and Alien, the eighth passenger use this with great wisdom. Spielberg’s shark and Scott’s alien appear very little on the camera, and when they appear it is clipped, fast, incomplete. And this makes them far more terrible and menacing. If a special quality effect can win in terms of causing shock, disgust and disgust, suggesting causes us a much deeper and more uncomfortable fear.
At nightfall it follows this line in an even more radical way. Here the enemy is not only barely shown, as it is even a creature or something exactly visible or tangible. It is a rare case of horror film in which there is no antagonist itself. There is an external factor that creates a complete and justified paranoia in the two families of the film, but it is something impersonal, omnipresent and intangible.
In the first scene we are already thrown into this environment without warning and preparation. In the first few seconds of the film we see ourselves in a situation of no return, of inescapable despair. But what would be hell if the damned did not dream of escaping? The second act of the film creates a ladder of not exactly hope, but minimal comfort in the midst of catastrophe, a lull we know announces the storm. And when it arrives, though expected, it hurls us in such a way toward the precipice that leaves us completely astonished.
One of the main merits of the film is photography. There are only two environments, the forest and the house. The forest has nothing idyllic. It’s a dark, hostile environment where we know we could not see the danger until it’s too late. The visual use of the forest is very reminiscent of The Witch. The trail in the forest scenes worsens the issue, is tribal and uncomfortable. Already the house is a claustrophobic labyrinth of improvised walls, windows closed by boards and narrow stairs. But it’s the night that the look of the movie hits the mark. The constant use of shadows and partial lights shows us only the border of terror in the twilight.
None of this would work without a cast giving the characters depth. 90% of the dramatic conflict is the relationship between the two families who desire friendship with one another but are not too terrified to trust one another. Although not counting on any great celebrity of Hollywood, all actors are in great performances. The highlight goes to Kelvin Harrison Jr. (The Birth of a Nation), who plays Travis, a young man who has not yet been completely stifled by the paranoid environment, and who goes through conflicts to reconcile his emotions with the rules of survival.
At nightfall he managed to bring the fear of the unknown in a rare way in today’s theaters. And it does this without appeal to the fantastic or monstrous. History is a plausible situation, making us believe that we would enter into the same paranoia if we were in the place of the characters. Psychological horror first, which may not appeal to the public who loves jump scare movies, or torture them, but totally recommendable to fans of the old-fashioned horror.
Nobody can complain about the horror movies of the last few months. When movies like Life or Alien Covenant come to seem mean thanks to Run! or At dusk, we know that we are in a quality harvest. She wanted to clap her feet.
“Paul (Joel Edgerton) lives with his wife and son in a solitary and mysterious but safe house, until a desperate family comes seeking refuge. Gradually paranoia and mistrust increase and Paul will do everything to protect his family against something that is terrifying everyone.”