From It Comes at Night to A Ghost Story, a new spawn of fright is slithering into the multiplex, replacing jump-scares with existential fright. We talk to the auteurs break-dance all the rules
DO NOT GO SEE IT COMES AT NIGHT, ITS SO NOT WORTH WATCHING, WORST MOVIE EVER HANDS DOWN. Twitter was filled with countless such berths after the US release of It Comes at Night last month. Mainstream moviegoers get in expecting a straight-up repugnance; they came out unsure about what theyd realise, and they didnt like it. Critics, and any particular area of onlookers, have adored the cinema, but its Cinemascore rating determined by moviegoers opening-night actions is a D.
You can understand the confusion. The entitlement alone strongly intimates It Comes at Night is a horror movie. As does the movies trailer, whose parts include a post-apocalyptic scenario, a hut in the woods, gas masks, shotguns, hostages, a stern patriarch( Joel Edgerton ), and admonishings never to leave doors opened or go out at night. Its by no means inaccurate publicize, its only that this tense, minimal movie doesnt to be followed by consented rules.
I didnt set out to make a repugnance movie per se , says Trey Edward Shults, the cinemas 28 -year-old writer-director. I exactly set out to clear something personal and thats what it turned into. I placed a lot of my own fears into it, and if fear equates with horror then, yeah, its fright. But its not a conventional fright movie.
Considering that horror is the place where we explore our mortal and societal horrors, the genre is actually one of the safest spaces in cinema. More than any other category, fright movies are governed by rules and codes: ogres dont have thoughts; the final girl will prevail; the informs of the gas station assistant/ supernatural Native American/ creepy old woman will go unheeded; the cruelty will ultimately be defeated, or at least interpreted, but not in a way that shuts off the possibility of a sequel. The regulates are our flashlight as we project into the unknown. But in some respects, theyve obliged horror a realm of what Donald Rumsfeld would describe as known unknowns.