Summaries. Secure within a desolate home as an unnatural threat terrorizes the world, a man has established a tenuous domestic order with his wife and son. It Comes At Night is set in some undetermined near-future. A plague has apparently wiped out vast swaths of humanity, leaving Paul (Joel Edgerton, sporting his best Kurt Russell beard) to defend his family — wife Sarah (Carmen Ejogo) and year-old son Travis (Kelvin Harrison, Jr.) — in their house in the woods. The ending of It Comes At Night doesn't give away who infected who, nor does the movie offer much information about the virus or what it does to.
: It comes at night summary
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It comes at night summary -
And I was just trying to help him find some peace. It was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. Paul takes an aggressive hand toward keeping his family safe, and Travis meekly watches and obeys, but their lives change when a stranger breaks into their house and changes their family dynamic. This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity. Is there a recipe for the perfect film apocalypse?
Oh God! I have no idea what the perfect concoction for that is at all. I feel totally out of my depth on that. But I love if that kind of material can stem from a personal place. That excites me. In Children Of Men especially, you have no idea why people have stopped having children. They just have to deal with it. People fascinate me, and dynamics between people fascinate me. Looking at one of my favorite horror movies, The Thing, I know everyone goes crazy about the monster effects and all of that.
I remember the first time I saw The Thing, I was really young. It was terrifying to me. That blood-test scene! I love people! Is that just an isolated case around this story, or is it your larger commentary on humanity? Even if the movie does feel cynical, I also hope you feel love in the movie, that you feel love amongst characters.
How direct are these metaphors for you? And then in hindsight, when you have to talk about it, now I certainly see how much it fits. Aspects of my biological dad are in Paul, but also my stepdad. And then the men who ambush them in the woods — Paul takes a second to look at them, and I think they look like father and son. Little things like that are hints into the whole relationship here.
All I know is, when I was writing, it was purely the characters. But then in hindsight, I started seeing where it all came from. Was there a point in the filmmaking where the relationships became more defined to you as you had to address how to handle framing and angles, and pick lenses and lighting?
With this and Krisha, when I was writing, I would experience the scene like I hope an audience would. A24 Why were the different aspect ratios in the film so important to your story? So the bulk of the movie is in 2. What always interested me in the movie is, along the way, there are these nightmares. Film-grammar-wise, how do you play with that?
You could go so many different routes. You could make a full nightmare, just announce it. But once again, taking it to the character, I want to experience it like Travis does. But we subtly use different lenses. We use anamorphic lenses for all the nightmares, and we subtly change aspect ratio, either through a fade, or slowly compressing.
The bars at the top and bottom close in, and it goes from 2. And the climax is when reality has become a nightmare. The music side, the aspect ratio, and the lenses converge. We also go handheld as reality truly becomes nightmare, once a certain line has been crossed. More and more filmmakers are playing with aspect ratio to manipulate the audience. Do you think mainstream audiences are coming to a place where they consciously notice these things?
In Krisha, every change we do is after a dark fade and a good beat. I remember at an Iceland festival, I talked to a lady who recommended her mom to go see the movie.
And her mom called her afterward, crying. And the same with this. A24 You said Night of the Living Dead is one of your major influences here. Did it have an influence on the racial casting? But Night of the Living Dead is different. He says he was just the best actor available.
And that ending haunts me like crazy. With this, too, there were a variety of factors. You need to think about those optics, making a movie today. But the big thing was, I just want great actors and great human beings, no matter the color of their skin. Past that, the movie is not about racism. This is a sloppy, messy answer.