It Comes at Night (2017, dir. Trey Shults) is the most recent film on my list. I have yet to see it a second time. But it made a huge impact on me. I saw it in the theater. Alone. I was literally the only person in the theater. Partly because of this viewing experience, but largely because of the effectiveness of the film, I was badly scared more than once.
You can’t trust anyone but family.
Being the only person in the movie theater when I saw this film was – besides somewhat unnerving – also probably a good thing. There is a scene late in the film that pretty well emotionally destroyed me. I was weeping in the theater and so glad that no one was there to see and hear. The setup and the execution are all very well done throughout the film; the threat is frightening and the tension is built effectively. But that scene and its emotional devastation is, for me, more horrific than the more traditional genre tropes of the film. This echoes my response to other films on my list like The Babadook and Rosemary’s Baby. Sure, there may be monsters, but what always scares me the most is us – humans – and our potential to hurt each other and ourselves.
I also wrote about this film over at Horror Homeroom, so for a brief (but not spoiler-free) analysis, because I’m not going to repeat that content here, go check it out.
Earlier countdown entries:
- Night of the Living Dead, dir. George Romero (1968)
- Dawn of the Dead, dir. George Romero (1978)
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers, dir. Philip Kaufman (1978)
- Get Out, dir. Jordan Peele (2017)
- Hellraiser, dir. Clive Barker (1987)
- Psycho, dir. Alfred Hitchcock (1960)
- The Birds, dir. Alfred Hitchcock (1963)
- Jaws, dir. Steven Spielberg (1975)
- Teeth, dir. Mitchell Lichtenstein (2007)
- Candyman, dir. Bernard Rose (1992)
- Creep, dir. Patrick Brice (2014)
- The Wicker Man, dir. Robin Hardy (1973)
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre, dir. Tobe Hooper (1974)
- Cabin in the Woods, dir. Drew Goddard (2012)
- Suspiria, dir. Dario Argento (1977)
- The Witch, dir. Robert Eggers (2015)
- Rosemary’s Baby, dir. Roman Polanski (1968)
- The Babadook, dir. Jennifer Kent (2014)
- It Follows, dir. David Robert Mitchell (2014)
- Carrie, dir. Brian de Palma (1976)
- Ginger Snaps, dir. John Fawcett (2000)
- American Werewolf in London, dir. John Landis (1981)
- The Thing, dir. John Carpenter (1982)
- The Fly, dir. David Cronenberg (1986)
- A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, dir. Ana Lily Amirpour (2014)