Custom Search





It Comes At Night

Paris Can Wait

June 15, 2017

It Comes at Night

(*1/2) R 

One of the most clichéd tropes in horror films is the dream sequence that turns out to be a fake scare. The audience gets a good emotional jolt only to find out it really didn’t happen and was only a dream. Critics used to take the slasher films of the early 80s to task for the overuse of this device. It Comes at Night, a supposed horror film with an end of the world subtext, does this not once or twice but—by my count—nearly half a dozen times. It’s a device that’s so overused in this film that it actually becomes comical by the end.   

It Comes at Night, the second film from director Trey Edward Shults, whose debut feature, Krisha, was released to heaps of praise last year, is being marketed as part of the horror genre by its distributor, A-24. In the interests of blowing the BS whistle at false advertising I’d like make it clear that It Comes at Night deserves to be labeled a horror film about as much as Schindler’s List needs to be described as being a rollicking, rib tickling comedy. If one were to lump director Shults’ film into a category, the genre of drama would be a more appropriate one. Still, even as a drama, It Comes at Night fails on too many levels to count, the most notable fail being in the storytelling department.    

The film opens ominously as an unidentified old man sits covered in sores while his family says their goodbyes, all of them covered in protective masks and gloves. It’s apparent that the man has some sort of illness but, in the cryptic spirit of the film, we never really learn what is afflicting the man.

Joel Edgerton & Kelvin Harrison Jr. in It Comes At Night

He’s taken outside and promptly put out of his misery. The rest of the film follows what remains of the man’s family as they attempt to maintain the family order while the ‘plague’ rages outside their doors. This is the setup for It Comes at Night.   

The characters in the film are never given names. We know them only as father (Joel Edgerton), mother (Carmen Ejogo) and their teenage son (Kelvin Harrison, Jr.).  One night the father catches another man (Christopher Abbott) attempting to break into the house and steal supplies. The would-be burglar claims his actions are only in the interests of protecting his family, which includes a wife and toddler. The father decides to let the man and his family join them. The rest of the film just lurches on in fits and starts as the suspicions grow but eventually it’s hard to care what happens when director/writer Shults insists upon keeping our emotional investment in the characters at bay.  

It Comes at Night offers no real resolution or story, for that matter. There’s really not much to recommend outside of the film’s doomed-filled atmosphere. Unfortunately, atmosphere does not substitute for good, solid storytelling, a message that someone should relay to the maker of this film.

Paris Can Wait (** ½) PG

In Paris Can Wait, Diane Lane’s character, Anne Lockwood, is a small town girl from the American midwest who ‘grew up eating fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green peas and didn’t learn about good food until I got to California.’ Now, not so happily married to a hotshot movie mogul (Alec Baldwin), whom she’s accompanied on his latest press junket, Anne opts not to travel by plane to Paris with her husband but instead opts to take the scenic route by car with one of her husband’s business partners, Jacques (Arnaud Viard). Along the way she and Jacques take in the sights, sounds and smells that her journey has to offer and, gradually find themselves revealing some of their innermost emotions to each other, their dashed dreams and regrets among other things. This forms the basis of director/writer Eleanor Coppola’s feature directing debut at the ripe old age of 81 and it’s clearly influenced by some of the early films in her husband Francis Ford Coppola’s canon. And, yes, I’m definitely thinking pre-Godfather here.

The plot really isn’t the thing in Paris Can Wait. As the old adage goes, it’s not about the destination but the journey and it’s a feast for the senses to be sure.

Alec Baldwin, Diane Lane and Arnaud Viard in Paris Can Wait

Most of the film centers around Jacques and Anne constantly stopping on their journey, much to Anne’s consternation who just wants to get to Paris, to take in the French cuisine (lovingly photographed, by the way) and the beautiful outdoors along the way. They reflect on their lives in middle age and eventually develop a bond. I couldn’t help but wonder if director/writer Coppola wasn’t basing this on her own experiences being the wife of a world-renowned filmmaker but I guess that’s something that only she would know.

While it’s true that Paris Can Wait is a bit slight, it’s so easy to digest that it’s hard not to like. It kind of sneaks up on you and, before you know it, you find yourself giving in to its charms and especially its well-defined characters. I hope that Coppola chooses to continue her filmmaking exploits. I’d like to see where she goes next.

It Comes at Night is playing all over this area.

Paris Can Wait opens this Friday, June 16, in Winston-Salem and in Charlotte.

Questions or comments? Write Adam at



The Lovers • The Mummy

Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales & Wonder Woman

Alien: Covenant


Guardians Of The Galaxy & Volume 2

The Lost City Of Z


The Fate Of The Furious & Going In Style

T2 Trainspotting

Life • Wilson

The Sense Of An Ending


Kong: Skull Island

I Am Not Your Negro & Logan

Get Out & The Red Turtle

A Cure For Wellness & Fifty Shades Darker

Rings & John Wick: Chapter 2


Split • The Founder

Silence • Patriots Day

A Monster Calls & Hidden Figures

Paterson & 20th Century Women


Fences • Sing • Rogue One

Nocturnal Animals • La La Land & Collateral Beauty

Why Him?

Manchester By The Sea Allied • Loving

Rules Don’t Apply • Moana & Bad Santa 2

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them • Moonlight

Arrival & Dr. Strange

Hacksaw Ridge

Inferno & Ouija: Origin Of Evil

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

The Girl On The Train & The Accountant

Masterminds • Deep Water Horizon • Birth Of A Nation

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

Snowden & The Magnificent Seven

Bridget Jones’ Baby & Blair Witch


The Light Between Oceans

Hell Or High Water & Don't Breathe

Sausage Party & Indignation

Florence Foster Jenkins & Pete's Dragon • Café Society

Eat That Question & Suicide Squad

Star Trek Beyond & Jason Bourne

Lights Out


The Purge: Election Year

Independence Day: Resurgence • The BFG

Free State Of Jones & DePalma

Now You See Me 2 & Finding Dory

The Conjuring 2 & Me Before You

X Men: Apocalypse Love And Friendship

The Lobster & The Meddler

Money Monster • The Nice Guys Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

Miles Ahead

Elvis And Nixon Green Room

Midnight Special Everybody Wants Some

The Jungle Book

I Saw The Light • The Boss

Hello My Name Is Doris & Krisha

Divergent: Allegiant & Batman v Superman

10 Cloverfield Lane & Brothers Grimsby

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot & London Has Fallen

Triple 9 & 45 Years

Eddie The Eagle• The Witch

Where To Invade Next & Son Of Saul

Deadpool • The Choice • How To Be Single

Hail Caesar & Fifty Shades Of Black

The Finest Hours & The 5th Wave

Mustang & The Lady In The Van

Anomalisa • 13 Hours: The & Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi

The Revenant • Youth

Carol • Joy • The Hateful Eight

Star Wars: The Force Awakens • The Big Short • Concussion

Daddy’s Home • Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Road Chip

In The Heart Of The Sea • Krampus

Creed • Brooklyn


‘Mockingjay Part 2’ • All Things Must Pass • The Night Before


Spectre & The Peanuts Movie

Steve Jobs & Our Brand Is Crisis

Crimson Peak & Room

Bridge Of Spies & Goosebumps

99 Homes

The Martian • Sicario & The Walk

The Intern • The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials • Everest

The Visit & Black Mass

Mistress America

The Diary Of A Teenage Girl A Walk In The Woods

American Ultra • No Escape • Sinister 2

Straight Outta Compton, The End Of The Tour, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Irrational Man & Fantastic Four

Ricki And The Flash & The Gift

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation • Southpaw • Vacation

Ant-Man & Trainwreck


Amy • Magic Mike XXL, Terminator: Genisys

Me & Earl & The Dying Girl, Ted 2

Inside Out & Dope

Love and Mercy & Jurassic World

Insidious Chapter 3

San Andreas & Aloha

Poltergeist &

Mad Max: Fury Road

Hot Pursuit

Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Ex Machina

While We’re Young & Unfriended

The Longest Ride

Fast & Furious 7

It Follows




Focus & The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Hot Tub Time Machine 2

Fifty Shades Of Grey

Jupiter Ascending

Still Alice

The Imitation Game A Most Violent Year

American Sniper Inherent Vice

Selma & Taken 3


Big Eyes • The Interview

Night At The Museum The Secret of the Tomb • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Top Five • Wild • Annie


Whiplash & The Theory Of Everything

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 • Horrible Bosses 2

Dumb And Dumber To

Birdman & Interstellar




The Judge

Annabelle & Gone Girl

The Equalizer & Happy 75th, GWTW!

The Drop • A Walk Among & The Tombstones

No Good Deed

The Identical

As Above, So Below & November Man

If I Stay & Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

The Giver • Code Black & The Expendables 3

Boyhood • Into The Storm & Magic In The Moonlight

Get On Up & Guardians Of The Galaxy


Begin Again & The Purge: Anarchy

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

Chef & Tammy

Transformers: Age Of Extinction

Jersey Boys

22 Jump Street & How To Train Your Dragon 2

The Fault Is In Our Stars & Edge Of Tomorrow

A Million Ways To Die In The West

X-Men: Days Of Future Past Maleficent

Godzilla • Summer Preview

Neighbors • Godzilla

The Amazing Spiderman 2 & Belle

The Other Woman & Brick Mansions

A Haunted House 2 & Heaven Is For Real

Oculus & Rio 2

Captain America: The Winter Soldier



The Grand Budapest Hotel & Veronica Mars

300: Rise of the Empire

Non-Stop & Son Of God

Three Days To Kill

Robocop & The Past • About Last Night

The Monuments Men

Labor Day

I, Frankenstein

Inside Llewyn Davis & Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Lone Survivor & August: Osage County

Her • Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom & The Wolf Of Wall Street

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, Saving Mr. Banks, American Hustle, Anchorman 2

The Hobbit: The Desolation & Of Smaug • Nebraska

Dallas Buyers Club & Oldboy & Out Of The Furnace

Philomena & The Book Thief

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire & Delivery Man

About Time & All Is Lost

Thor: The Dark World & 12 Years A Slave

Ender’s Game & Last Vegas

Bad Grandpa &The Counselor

Carrie & The Fifth Estate

Captain Phillips, Enough Said & Machete Kills

Gravity & Runner Runner

Metallica: Through The Never , Rush & Don Jon

Prisoners & Rush

Insidious: Chapter 2 • The Family & The Spectacular Now



The World’s End You’re Next

Lee Daniels’ The Butler • Jobs • Blue Jasmine

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters & Elysium

2 Guns

Blue Jasmine • The Wolverine & Fruitvale Station

Fruitvale Station • The Conjuring & The Way Way Back

Pacific Rim & Grown Ups 2

The Lone Ranger & Despicable Me 2

The Heat & White House Down

Monsters University, World War Z, Before Midnight & The East

Man of Steel & This Is The End

The Internship & The Purge

After Earth, Now You See Me & Frances Ha

The Hangover Part III Before Midnight

Star Trek: Into Darkness & Fast and Furious 6

The Great Gatsby & Frances Ha

Iron Man & Peeples

Pain and Gain & Mud

Oblivion & Lords of Salem

42 and Scary Movie 5

Evil Dead & Jurassic Park 3-D

G.I. Joe: Retaliation Tyler Perry’s Temptation

Spring Breakers Admission

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone • The Call

Oz: The Great And Powerful West Of Memphis

Jack the Giant Slayer The Last Exorcism, Part II

Dark Skies & Snitch

A Good Day to Die Hard & Safe Haven

Side Effects & Identity Thief

Bullet To The Head Warm Bodies




BannerEventAd-01.jpg   BannerEventAd-01.jpg

PO Box 1721 | Hickory, NC 28603 | 828.322.1036 | Office Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9am - 5pm |

Home • Reviews: MoviesAdam Long • Editorials: FocusHave Chainsaw Will TravelSid On SportsBobbi GSara MawyerPeople PicturesPlaces/PeopleExtra Events Listing
Out Of Focus • News: Local NewsNational NewsHoroscopes • Info/Links: Staff/ContributorsList Of AdvertisersOnline AdvertisingOnline ClassifiedsContact UsFocus BLOGStoreLinks

© 1978 - 2018 Tucker Productions, Inc.