It Comes At Night (2017)

It Comes at Night (Shults 2017)

Another credit to Laura’s ambition, for this episode we revisit It Comes at Night (Shults 2017). A film that was extraordinary the first time and is even more impactful given we are recording on the upslope of the COVID19 pandemic in the United States. This film tackles the core precepts of the social contract, stability, and trust. Sparing the errors of unnecessary effects and overwrought plot twists, this film zeroes in on characters and social pressure to great effect. We found this discussion somewhat cathartic in these anxious times and we hope you do as well.



TOPIC INDEX – It Comes At Night (Shults 2018) (times are approximate) 

0:35 – Introductions
7:00 – Discussion begins
8:12 – The film’s questions and COVID19 context
12:00 – Key components of the film
13:36 – Maus
23:39 – The social contract
30:20 – Intentionality and the social contract
33:56 – A criticism of the film – family
47:00 – Use of ambiguity in the film
51:14 – Film ending and altruism
55:55 – Why spare Will in the beginning?
1:02:52 – Argument of the film
1:05:46 – Personal vs film ideology
1:08:30 – Guns and the social contract
1:13:10 – Generalizability of the film
1:17:50 – Coronavirus, guns, the social contract, and politics
1:27:30 – Film concision
1:30:23 – Contrasted with A Quiet Place and Eden Lake
1:35:27 – Grading the Film
1:39:31 – Applicability of the film to real life and comparison to The First Purge  (McMurray 2018)
1:42:00 – Empathy and the role of Travis
1:49:30 – Sociology Moment: Disaster Panic Media Myths

Tierney, K., Bevc, C., & Kuligowski, E. 2006. “Metaphors Matter: Disaster Myths, Media Frames, and Their Consequences in Hurricane Katrina.” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 604: 57-81.

Recommendations for other films

Related Episodes

The First Purge (McMurray 2018)

Crawl (Aja 2019)

A Quiet Place (Krasinski 2018)


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“Horror films are our collective nightmares.”

Episode 52