It Comes at Night is a movie that revolves around waiting, which can be a strenuous tightrope to walk. Luckily, it works to the film’s advantage. The anticipation lends to an atmosphere of suspense, with the source of horror always just outside our field of vision. Although it is a familial drama at its core, the looming tension is reminiscent of classic fright flicks, such as Night of the Living Dead or the early efforts of John Carpenter.
Upon hearing that a romantic comedy made its way through Sundance, you most likely already have a pretty clear idea of what ground it is going to cover, often to the point where you can (with great precision) predict individual story beats without even seeing the movie. With her directorial debut, Zoe Lister-Jones (Life in Pieces, Breaking Upwards) uses the tropes of the genre to her advantage, while still managing to shatter our expectations of how the story will unfold. Band Aid finds the seemingly unattainable middle ground between unending sweetness and gut-wrenching honesty.
Unless you are completely out of touch with your inner child, simply saying the name Captain Underpants is difficult to accomplish without beginning to break out into a grin. Although there are dance sequences set to cutesy pop covers and a healthy dose of fart jokes, Nicholas Stoller’s (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Muppets) script plucks the most endearingly whimsical elements from the Dav Pilkey source material in order to showcase the world as it appears through the eyes of a child, complete with the devotedly blurred line between fact and fiction.
Anyone who has frequented theaters in the last couple of decades knows that on the few occasions when female superheros are actually provided an audience, their stories are half-assed and given minimal attention from their studios. Those rare comic book movies that do push women to the foreground (Catwoman, Elektra, 1984’s Supergirl) are remembered with a shutter, if at all, notorious for how poorly they were received by both the press and the average moviegoer. Wonder Woman is certainly a step in the right direction, but it’s a little too early to celebrate the end of sexism in Hollywood.
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