Paul, a quiet man belying his short fuse, preaches the priorities of family, but his paranoia speaks for itself: Travis is everything that matters to his parents, and, like the son in The Road, he represents all that’s worth preserving after the world ends.
Instead, Shults explores the idea of masculinity from the perspective of Travis, not a boy but not quite a man, who develops a harmless crush on Kim (Riley Keough), Will’s wife.
He spends much of the film simply watching as others around him struggle with the world as it’s become, the camera rarely far from his line of sight, his family weighed into reality by his weirdly prescient gaze.
Shults may be a genius: Rarely do his characters say anything expositional—everything instead is implication, as if the director has full control over both our need to see and our existential anxiety about what we can’t.
It Comes at Night is a different kind of movie from Krisha, but it operates on the same ideas of what scares us.