Monday, January 8, 2018

The Ten Best Films of 2017: #10

Trey Edward Shults’ “It Comes at Night” is lean, economical, no-frills genre moviemaking, yet this young director (who debuted with last year’s Cassavetes-esque “Krisha”) continues to amaze with his command of technique and now his versatility. In the near future of the film, a virulent, Plague-like disease has wiped out almost all of humankind. Paul (Joel Edgerton) has a few inviolable rules for his wife Sarah (Carmen Ejogo) and son Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.): only go out of the house in pairs, always wear your gas masks outside, and never ever unlock the red door. When an intruder (Christopher Abbott) offers much-needed provisions if they’ll take in him and his wife (Riley Keough) and young son, Paul’s comfortable pattern yields to an outwardly friendly but inwardly uneasy entente. “It Comes at Night” gives the lie to so much of the current cinema, proving you don’t need a big budget, special effects and universally recognized comic-book characters to create thrilling entertainment. All you need is a compelling scenario, a uniformly first-rate cast and a director with vision and the talent to see it through.

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