Interview: Trey Edward Shults on the 3 days of grief that became It Comes At Night

In his sophomore feature, It Comes At Night, Texas-born filmmaker Trey Edward Shults makes his first foray into horror—sort of. Not only was his debut, the similarly devastating family drama Krisha, shot like a horror movie, but It Comes At Night stubbornly refuses to define itself by any conventional horror metric. Instead, the movie takes events from Shults’ personal experience and translates them into imagery that’s symbolically loaded yet open to interpretation, anchored by the primal fear of the dark.

We spoke to Shults over the phone a few weeks after seeing It Comes At Night at the Overlook Film Festival, where it premiered as a much-hyped secret screening. We talked about the raw emotions that fueled the writing of the movie, the influences that contributed to its grim vision, and why he’s so into long, dark hallways.

The A.V. Club: One thing about this film …

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