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08th Jul 2017

It Comes At Night and how 2017 has become a breakout year for horror fans

It looks like 2017 could be the best year for horror fans ever.

Rory Cashin

It Comes At Night is in cinemas now and it’s a horror quite unlike any other that you’ve ever seen.

Another fantastic step in the right direction by horror filmmakers, and considering we’re only half way through the year, it’s a good sign that 2017 has nailed its horror films.

Far from just sitting back and giving us cheap jump scares in another teenagers-in-a-scary-place re-thread, we’ve gotten some seriously brilliant horrors in the last few months.

We went into some detail as to why Get Out was maybe the most important horror movie that has been made in a long time, and we also had a lot of love for Split, especially considering where writer/director M. Night Shyamalan has announced he’ll be taking that story next.

Normally, we’d be lucky to get one – maybe two good horrors at a push – but this period has been incredibly fertile for the genre. Don’t Breath in 2016, The Witch and Green Room in 2015, It Follows and The Babadook both came out in 2014, and so on and so on.

As of this week, 2017 now has a third great horror, with It Comes At Night.

Clip via A24

Telling the story of a family trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic America after a virus wiped out the majority of the population, this is a horror movie for people who want to feel their entire brain light up with horror.

There aren’t too many “Boo!” jumps, but it is more likely to linger with you for hours, days and weeks afterwards, coming to mind when you’re lying in bed at night, asking yourself “What would I do in that situation?” over and over again.

The horror doesn’t always come from some unknowable, unseen source- which isn’t to say that isn’t also present – but from how we, as people, go from humane to instinctive animals when our backs are against the wall and we’re forced to do anything to survive, no matter how unspeakable it might be.

Remember that fantastic video-game The Last Of Us? It is kind of like someone adapted that, but ramped the bleakness up to the Nth degree.

It is exactly one of those horror films that as many people will love as hate, and will also likely fly under the radar against bigger blockbuster releases, but it absolutely demands the attention of horror fans who are looking for something different.

Obviously not everything this year has been a success story, and you just have to look at our Bottom 5 Of 2017 So Far list we put out a while back to see it littered with some big-name failures like The Bye Bye Man and Rings.

But if you thought we’d be lucky to have three great scary films in 2017, it looks like we’re only getting started.

Next month we’ve got Annabelle: Creation, which is already getting some seriously, scarily brilliant reviews (it has 100% on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of writing), which took a note out of last year’s Ouija: Origin Of Evil’s notebook by being a good prequel to a not-good original.

After that, there is It.

Clip via Warner Bros. Pictures

Now, think back…

Can you remember the last time there was a horror movie that people were this genuinely excited about seeing? Even in the height of their popularity, series likes Scream, Saw, Final Destination and Paranormal Activity didn’t have a fraction of the buzz surrounding this new take on the scary killer clown story.

The teaser trailer currently stands as the most watched trailer within the first 24 hours of release of all time: 197 million views, with second place (by some distance) being Fast & Furious 8 with 139 million views.

So how is it that horror movies are suddenly mostly becoming, well, good?

We want to think because the majority of those behind them are treating the genre with the respect that it deserves. The Shining, Jaws, The Exorcist, Psycho… some of the best movies of all time are scary movies made by some of the best film-makers of all time because the respect for horror was obviously there.

For a while it did feel like the genre was just a cheap way for film companies to make a cheap buck, no imagination and just another haunted house, creepy child, or usually some combination of both.

Now we’ve come full circle again, and great film-makers are making great horror movies again. Long may it continue.