‘It Comes At Night’: Despite Strong Reviews, Horror Flick Disappoints

It Comes at Night is on the path for disappointment, and no, that is not a reviewer’s statement. Reviews for the creepy horror flick are in, and they are strong.

Rotten Tomatoes, the critical aggregator, has the low-budget Joel Edgerton horror at 86 percent as of this posting, and that’s taken from a consensus of 120 professional critics.

It Comes at Night makes lethally effective use of its bare-bones trappings while proving once again that what’s left unseen can be just as horrifying as anything on the screen,” the site notes.

So what’s not to like?

Thus far, the audience reaction and the box office returns are hardly making a splash. Shifting eyes just a bit to the right of the critical consensus on RT, you will find a total disconnect with general audiences as the film is rated 45 percent — low enough to earn it a “rotten.”

One of the one-star reviewers writes that It Comes at Night “wasn’t scary,” remarking that “People were complaining in the theater afterwards their frustration and disappointment. So it wasn’t just me who didn’t get it. What a waste of time and money!”

Not to get spoiler-y, but another complained the movie was “all questions, no answers.”

“I see probably 50-60 movies a year,” a user writes. “All I ask for is maybe 2 hours of being entertained. It Comes at Night is the worst movie I’ve seen in a while. What a complete waste of a very good cast. So disappointing on every level.”

Whether the complaints are well-founded is up to the individual viewer to decide, but a look at the box office numbers show a film that is short of being the runaway horror hit studios may have been looking for.

Box Office Mojo reports that It Comes at Night debuted on more than 2,500 screens, which is a respectably large-sized opening for a film.

Tentpole pictures like the Marvel movies generally open in the avenue of twice that; therefore, this is not a limited release type of film. Despite that, it did just $2.5 million on opening night and is poised for a fifth place finish.

A24 has not released budget or marketing information at this time, so it’s entirely possible the performance will be enough to move It Comes at Night into the black. That said, it’s not in it with other horror films like The Purge and Saw, which turned into franchises.

Case in point, The Purge films were all made for less than $10 million apiece, but have gone on to gross more than $300 million worldwide.

Each of the seven Saw films have cumulatively cost less than $10 million, but they have grossed close to $1 billion.

(All box office totals available at Box Office Mojo, linked above.)

A24 likely didn’t plan on doing those kinds of numbers, but with the positive word of mouth the film was getting, it should have performed better than $2.4 million on Friday. Assuming it does twice that on Saturday, it still makes less than $10 million in its opening weekend — the period of time when films make the majority of their money.

Since It Comes at Night appears to be missing with general audiences, the chance of a strong holdover in weeks two and three are slim.

Provided the film was cheap to make, it may not be a money loser, but the film’s supporters will have to keep feet poised on the brakes of a potential It Comes at Night 2.

But what do you think, readers?

Did you see It Comes at Night? What were your impressions? Sound off in the comments section below.

[Featured Image by A24]

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