“It Comes at Night” Is an Expression of Pure Pessimistic Horror

Consistency of tone is essential for a successful psychological horror story.  In It Comes at Night, writer-director Trey Edward Shultz establishes an unyielding bleakness that completely permeates the entirety of his post-apocalyptic story.  The constant pressure of this mood grows and oppresses the viewer, like an emotional constrictor squeezing all hope and joy from the proceedings.  In short:  It Comes at Night is not a fun or pleasant viewing experience, and it is clear from the opening shot that this is not a world where things turn out well.  Its dogged pursuit of desolation is not mere pessimism – it’s an exploration of human fear, mistrust, and desperation.

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“American Honey” – A Strong and Sweet Hybrid Stuffed with Singular Style

In American Honey, writer-director Andrea Arnold crafts a coming-of-age story about teenage wanderlust that practically feels like a documentary.  The film is a peculiar slice of life, both immersive and engrossing, and while watching it you feel as though you are just another member of the rag-tag crew.  The camerawork and a score driven by pop music enhance the realism of the film.  The story focuses around a group of young people who sell magazine subscriptions door-to-door.  Full of an ensemble cast of mostly non-actors, American Honey wanders through life with dubious morals, sexual and emotional exploration, and the pace of a buddy road trip movie – just with about a dozen buddies.

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