Rated Greg’s Top 5 Scariest Movies
- The Shining
- The Conjuring
- Paranormal Activity
My rule of thumb when it comes to watching movies is generally the less you know going in the better. I just think all trailers (and most reviews) hint at jokes, action, and plot points that would have been more enjoyable experiencing first hand without prior knowledge that they were on the horizon. I would liken it to my current situation watching hoops. Because I cut the cord and now watch basketball via online apps, most of the games I watch are on a 60-120 second delay. This may not seem like a big deal, except I can tell when something epic is about to happen because my phone starts blowing up right before a buzzer beater occurs (or something else wild like a Kelly Oubre hip check). You remember the crazy UNC/Kentucky Elite 8 finish? I had a strong inclination Luke Maye was going to hit that shot when he put it up given the constant morse code of vibrations felt on my thigh in the minute prior.
Occasionally though this lack of information on a film prior to seeing it can really throw me for a loop, which is precisely what happened last Sunday. I knew four things about It Comes At Night before seeing it, and exactly these four things only:
- The title was It Comes At Night
- It was listed as a Horror
- It starred Joel Edgerton (a Rated Greg favorite)
- It had a 86% rating on Rotten Tomatoes
Based on those factors above, I assumed this was a spooky, BOO!-type haunted house story in the vein of The Conjuring or Poltergeist. I mean, it’s called It Comes At Night after all. How could I expect any different with a dumbass name like that? Once noticing that it got an 86%, it was a no-brainer that I would check it out. A good scare can be quite fun.
From the opening frames however I quickly realized that there wasn’t going to be anything fun about this movie. This is the heaviest, darkest, and most intense film of 2017 thus far. Of the 91 minutes run time there might only be three, four minutes tops containing lighter fare (definitely not suitable for a fun date night). It Comes At Night isn’t even really a horror movie despite being heavily marketed that way (more on that in a second). It’s a psychological thriller about the animal instincts of mankind that can kick in when presented with a possible threat. I do think it’s a decent movie in the end (first half is a little tough to watch), just so very far from what I was expecting. The film is professionally well crafted in every aspect, cinematography and acting especially (shout out rising stars Christopher Abbott and my current #wcw Riley Keough), but the material is such a grind to get through. The primary measuring stick when grading something on the Rated Greg scale is simply how much did I enjoy the experience of watching it, thus I can’t put it higher than a B-. Grade: B-
- One last item of note: Given the 44% public score on Rotten Tomatoes (compared to 86% critical), it looks like I wasn’t the only one surprised by what I just saw. I went back and looked at the trailer and it is certainly very misleading. I get why A24 marketed It Comes At Night this way. Conventional Horror movies make more money per dollar invested than any other genre, so why not try to lure viewers in and win them over. But it’s a dirty trick. It’s kind of like those deceptive individuals who only use extremely old photos on their dating profile.