It Comes At Night Explained
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It Comes At Night Explained

Set in a post-apocalyptic world, ‘It Comes at Night’ is a horror film that follows the story of a family struggling to survive in the face of an unknown threat. Directed by Trey Edward Shults, the movie delves into themes of fear, paranoia, and the breakdown of morality in the face of a crisis. Through a detailed analysis, this article will explore the film’s plot, characters, themes, and connections to real-world events. It will also analyze fan theories and explore the deeper implications of the movie’s narrative. By examining these elements, this article seeks to provide an in-depth understanding of ‘It Comes at Night’ and its underlying message.

Overview of the Plot

This section provides an overview of the plot of the film ‘It Comes at Night’, exploring the various elements of the narrative. The film follows the story of Paul, a man who strives to protect his family from a mysterious and powerful evil that lurks outside their home. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the narrative creates a fearful tension as it attempts to discover the source of the evil. The dark atmosphere of the film is further heightened by the uncertainty of the unknown, as Paul and his family grapple with the possibility of their own survival. As the family attempts to remain safe, they are forced to make difficult decisions that will determine the fate of their family. Throughout, the film builds an atmosphere of fear and tension as the family struggles to protect themselves, while still maintaining a sense of humanity. As the plot progresses, the characters reveal more of their motivations, ultimately leading to a powerful climax that will leave viewers with an unforgettable experience.

Themes, Symbols, and Analysis

The Themes, Symbols, and Analysis of ‘It Comes at Night’ provide insight into the film’s narrative. The film is characterized by its fearful symbolism, which is reflected in the titular phrase, ‘It Comes at Night.’ This phrase is used to refer to the fear and dread that comes with the unknown, and is represented by the mysterious presence that plagues the characters. This presence is never fully explained, leaving the audience to make their own interpretations of what it could be. The film also has thematic depth, exploring themes of fear, paranoia, trust, and survival. The characters in the film are constantly pitted against one another in a battle to survive, and are forced to make difficult decisions in order to ensure their own survival. This creates an intense atmosphere of tension and distrust, as the characters are never sure who to trust, and who is out to get them. Ultimately, the film forces viewers to confront their own fears and insecurities, and to consider what they would do in a similar situation.

Character Studies

Through the characterization of its protagonists and antagonists, ‘It Comes at Night’ paints a complex picture of fear, paranoia, trust, and survival. The protagonists of the film, Paul, Will and Sarah, are faced with difficult moral dilemmas as they grapple with the horror elements of the story, such as the mysterious illness that has decimated the population and the unknown entity that lurks outside their home. Paul is particularly interesting in this regard, as his moral ambiguity is often tested. He is willing to take extreme measures to protect his family, including resorting to violence and preventing them from learning the truth about the illness; yet he also exhibits moments of kindness, such as when he allows another family to join the safety of his own.

The antagonist of the film, Travis, is an equally fascinating character. As an outsider, he is a source of both fear and suspicion, but he also embodies a certain level of hope for the future, as he is depicted as a kind and caring figure. His presence serves to underscore the moral ambiguity of the story, as he is both a potential threat and a potential ally. As the film progresses, the characters must make difficult decisions about who to trust and how much risk to take. Through the complex characterization of its protagonists and antagonists, ‘It Comes at Night’ explores the psychological implications of fear and paranoia, as well as the moral choices one must make in order to survive.

Connections to Real-Life Events

By examining the psychological implications of fear and paranoia, as well as the moral choices necessary for survival, ‘It Comes at Night’ speaks to real-life events and their effect on individuals and societies. In particular, the film highlights the modern fear of disease, contagion, and death that is so pervasive in our world today. The idea of an unknown, unseen threat lurking in the shadows is not unfounded; many individuals are living under the shadow of disease and the fear of a virus that could cause destruction on a global scale. This fear is abstract, but it is also incredibly real, and it is this fear that ‘It Comes at Night’ speaks to.

The film also speaks to the psychological trauma that can occur in the wake of a traumatic event, such as a pandemic. The characters in the film are struggling to cope with the loss of their loved ones, as well as the uncertainty of their future. The film also speaks to the moral dilemmas that can arise in times of crisis, and how the human instinct for self-preservation can lead to difficult choices. Ultimately, ‘It Comes at Night’ serves as a reminder of the fragility of human life, and how quickly our sense of safety and security can be taken away by a single event.

Exploring Fan Theories

Examining the psychological, moral, and emotional implications of ‘It Comes at Night’, it is no surprise that fan theories have been generated to explore the film’s deeper meaning. One popular theory is that the movie is an allegory for the paranoia and fear of global terrorism and contagion, with the mysterious “it” representing the looming threat of contagion and the “night” representing the uncertainty of the future. This theory is supported by the constant feeling of paranoia among the characters, as well as the restrictive and oppressive measures they take to protect themselves from the unknown.

Another popular theory is that the movie is an exploration of existential dread, with the “it” representing the inevitability of death and the “night” representing the darkness of mortality. This theory is supported by the characters’ constant preoccupation with death and their desperate attempts to hold on to life in the face of a seemingly hopeless situation. Both of these fan theories provide insight into the themes of the movie and offer a deeper understanding of its meaning.


It Comes At Night is a psychological horror film that examines the potential consequences of a worldwide pandemic. Through its exploration of themes such as morality, mortality, and paranoia, the film forces the audience to confront their own feelings of fear, anxiety, and vulnerability. As viewers watch the characters grapple with their own mortality and the morality of their decisions, they can draw connections to events in their own lives and the world at large. With its complex characters and thought-provoking plot, It Comes At Night is a film sure to stay with viewers long after the credits roll. As we reflect on the themes and lessons of the film, we can consider how our own decisions and beliefs might be impacted by fear, uncertainty, and mortality.

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