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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The central message isn't exactly clear, but whatever it is, it's extremely pessimistic, with no faith in human goodness or kindness. Clearly, however, the movie wishes viewers to discuss something. What does it all mean?
Positive Role Models
Characters occasionally show reluctant trust and try to help one another, but paranoia and brutality always win out. Those who are on the more loving and trusting end of the spectrum end up being punished for "letting down their guard."
Violence & Scariness
Characters have gross, gory diseases: boils, black bile spilling out of their mouths, etc. Injured dog, bloody fur, plus painful whining. Guns and shooting, characters shot and killed (including children). Dead bodies are burned. Punching, beating with blunt objects. Character are imprisoned, gagged, and tied to a tree. Scary nightmare sequences. Disturbing imagery and sounds.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Couple kisses in a bathtub (no graphic nudity) and in bed. Sex noises heard -- heavy breathing, groaning, etc. -- through walls (nothing shown). In a nightmare sequences, a woman kisses a teen boy.
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A few uses of "f--k" or "f--king," plus "s--t," "son of a bitch."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters share a cup of whisky. Later, a character takes a drink of whisky alone.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that It Comes at Night has been promoted as a horror film, but it's not exactly that. Nor is it a thriller or a sci-fi movie; it's more like an apocalyptic, deeply pessimistic, deeply unsettling drama. It's not the kind of scary fun that horror lovers usually enjoy, though it's definitely violent and mature. Characters have gory diseases, with boils and black bile dribbling from their mouths, as well as guns and shooting. Characters are killed, bodies are burned, people punch and fight each other, and there's a painfully injured dog. You can also expect nightmare sequences and disturbing images and sounds. A couple kisses n a bathtub and in bed, and sex noises are heard, but there's no nudity. Language includes a few uses of "f--k," "s--t," and "bitch." Characters share a casual drink of whisky. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Trey Edward Shults, who made the powerful, harrowing Krisha, returns with a dark movie that's meticulously crafted and highly intelligent but also relentlessly pessimistic and deeply unsettling. It Comes at Night has been promoted as a horror movie, and it's certainly horrific, but it's not scary, and it's not likely something that "scary movie" horror fans will find enjoyable. It defies any other categories, too; it's not really a thriller (it's not thrilling), and it's barely a sci-fi movie (it's apocalyptic but not futuristic).
The movie depicts humanity in the darkest and most brutal of ways, without a shred of hope or goodness. And yet it has incredible use of sounds and movement, light and shadow -- all of which conjures up a vivid, visceral world. Travis, unable to sleep, wanders the house at night, lighting weird angles with a lantern and listening to muffled sounds from an upstairs perch. There's a constant sense of uncertainty and unease, as we realize that the greatest threats aren't the ones that can be seen -- or even heard banging on the red door.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.