A strange sickness. Scared people. Something lurking outside. Those are about the only plot details that can be gleaned from the mysterious first trailer for It Comes At Night, the new horror movie from writer-director Trey Edward Shults. Instead of information, the 90-second spot provides heavy dollops of dread, beginning as it does with the slow creep of the camera down a long hallway to an ominous door, as the music hums with danger and the dialogue sets a desperate scene. Who needs story when you have atmosphere this suffocating?
Shults established his talent for menacing mood in his first feature, Krisha, a family-reunion drama directed like a psychological thriller. The trailer for It Comes At Night suggests that he hasn’t squandered the promise of that auspicious debut; at the very least, it will be interesting to see how he handles a cast—including Joel Edgerton, Riley Keough, and James White star Christopher Abbott—not made up predominately of friends and family. The film also looks like another feather in the cap of powerhouse indie distributor A24, which is apparently enough of a brand at this point that its logo can be dropped into the middle of a trailer, like a seal of quality. Given that A24’s library already includes The Witch, Green Room, and the upcoming The Blackcoat’s Daughter, it’s not unfair to think of the company as an artisanal horror source—a reputation that Shults’ movie may well uphold.
It Comes At Night creeps into theaters on August 25, just in time to usher in the cold chill of the fall movie season.