Sunday, December 29, 2019

Exactly What Comes at Night?

Hidey-Ho, horror nuts! And welcome to another WTFHM!!

So, this week we're covering a movie that was kind of like spending your time watching paint dry while waiting for a zombie apocalypse that never comes. 

Yes. I know.  And, look, I realize that, essentially, this isn't a bad movie, really, it's just...well, remember when I said I was pretty sure that I'd seen it before and fallen asleep? That's might actually be true. I have no working memory of seeing this movie, but I imagine that if I hadn't had the forethought to take a nap before watching this movie, I wouldn't have a movie to review this week.

Anyway, here we go:

It Comes At Night starring Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo, Riley Keough, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Griffin Robert Faulkner, and David Pendleton.

Okay, so meet Paul (Edgerton), Sarah (Ejogo) and Travis (Harrison Jr.). They're all living in a house somewhere in the woods and they just had to put down Grampa or Bud (Pendleton) as Paul calls him.

See, Paw-paw is sick. With what? Don't know. He's all black-eyed and veiny and stuff and, you'd think this was a prelude into a zombie movie. 

Heh. So, they bury him and burn him alive because that's what you do with sick people in this movie, and life goes on. Paul and Sarah live their off the grid lives and so forth and so on, until one night Sarah hears somebody breaking in. They all get their hazmat suits and guns on and Paul takes the lead to investigate while his wife and son say behind.

They find a guy breaking into their house. See, the guy didn't realize there was anyone living there and broke in. Too bad for him because Paul knocks him out and drags him outside and ties him to a tree.

NOW, you start thinking "Oh! He's going to be eaten by whatever comes at night...right?" You could argue that this is the moment that we get a clue as to the horrors this family is really hiding from. You could argue that, sure, however:

Yeah, so, homeboy spends the night tied to a tree and screaming for help. No one comes. Not even Paul. In fact, Paul, Sarah, and Travis go to bed.

The next morning, Paul goes out to the guy and asks him what his deal is. The guy, who's name is Will (Abbott) by the way, tells him that he was just looking for water for his wife and son. Paul says he's got water if Will has food and maybe they can make a trade. Will's like Bet. Then Paul's let, let me talk to my wife first.

Paul talks to Sarah who says, why not just bring them all here? More people, more defense (against...other people I presume?) Let's just do that. Paul's down with it.

Paul and Travis drive through the woods and almost immediately run into people with guns. Paul shoots and kills them all and chastises Will for not warning him about them, like:

Paul: "Why did you tell me people would try to kill me?"
Will: "They weren't here when I came through!"
Paul: "Yeah, right."
Will: "Hey! They tried to kill me too. I swear I'm innocent."
Paul: *grumbles suspiciously*

Anyway, they drive the rest of the way and pick up Will's wife Kim (Keough) and his son Andrew (Faulkner) and now they're all one big happy family. Things go good for a while. Paul's still suspicious of Will, Will and Kim are having monkey sex in the next room, Andrew's being five years old, and Travis is busy ear hustling through the house.

Like...a lot.

I mean, I realize that there can't be that much to do when you're living in a boarded-up house with no electricity in the middle of nowhere, but apparently, Travis' favorite thing to do is crawl around in the attic and listen to what everybody else is up to.

So, everything is cool in this nice little post-apocalyptic nuclear family until one day, Paul, Travis and Will are all in the woods and the dog goes running off after something it heard. Travis freaks out and immediately goes running after it and, of course, finds himself alone in the woods with strange noises all around him.

And so, now, NOW, you're thinking "Poor Travis is about to get eaten by whatever ate his dog" or some grand monster is going to pop out and chase Travis down and we'll be treated to a few minutes of a big Oogie-Boogie terrorizing everyone. Right?

Yeah, no. Paul catches up with Travis and yells at him because running off into the woods can get you killed what with the Nothing out there to get you. He commands him back home, Travis wants to wait for the dog, Paul assures him the dog can find its way home...

...from the scary woods...with the unseen monster in it...that Paul JUST got finished yelling at Travis about because he ran just through it.

Things are cool until one night Travis happens to discover little Andrew is not in his bed. He finds him sleeping on the floor downstairs. He puts Andrew back in his bed in his parent's room. On the way back, he hears a noise near the red door that leads outside that Paul told everybody to stay out of. The door's unlocked so Travis goes to investigate.

There he finds the family dog. Bloodied and sick and very clearly ill with the cooties that they're all worried about getting. He wakes Paul up who (after yelling at Travis for not putting on his hazmat gear before looking at the dog) gets geared up, takes the dog out and burns it.

Which brings the question of why was the door open in the first place. They all sit around and argue about it. 

Paul: "Why'd you open the door, Travis?"
Travis: "I didn't open the door, it was open already."
Paul: "But why were you even down there?"
Travis: "I found Andrew outside his room, so I put him back in his parent's room."
Kim: "How'd he get out of his room?"
Travis: "I don't know."
Sarah: "Maybe he was sleepwalking."
Sarah: "No, I'm just saying. I mean, how did he get there, then?"
Paul: "Hey, maybe he was sleepwalking because he got sick."

After that spirited debate, Paul suggests that for the next day or so, they should all stay in their rooms...just in case. Everyone agrees.

So, Travis has a nightmare about his Paw-paw. The next morning, he's ear hustling in the attic and he overhears Will and Kim in a panic because, shock of shocks, Andrew's sick. He also hears them talking about leaving before anyone would notice them.

He tells Paul who wigs out because he realizes that if they leave, they'll be taking some of their supplies with them. So, he and Sarah suit up and confront them. Well, Will tries to escape and they get into a big fight that ends up with Paul and Sarah leading them out of the house to be finished off.

Which they do. Paul and Will get into a fight, during which Sarah shoots Will in the back. Kim freaks out and runs. Paul shoots at her and ends up hitting Andrew and killing him. Kim gets hysterical and Paul shoots her too.

So, they do all this and then we find out that Travis is, of course, sick too. 


Yeah. That's it. See why I didn't like this one?

Like, first of all, I (and the audience) am operating under the assumption that this is a plague apocalyptic scenario. They never actually say so in the film, which is fine with me. I can live with a horror movie that doesn't explain everything.

But I have some vital questions that I'd like answered, like WHAT COMES AT NIGHT??? It's not the plague because that can come at any time in this movie. Is it a monster and y'all just forgot to reveal it? Is it a figurative sort of thing like paranoia or suspicion? Was it Will? Was it the dog? I mean, what was it for Pete's sake?

There's probably going to be a sequel...and Lordt help me I'm going to end up having to watch it because the filmmaker couldn't even leave a hint as to What the Nothing is suppose to be in the first place?  

Yeah, so:

Next week is a newer movie that I've been DYING to see: The Curse of La Llorona! 

See you next week!

-- O~

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