‘He Comes at Night’ Short Film Review

After having to change to a virtual format last year due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the Blood in the Snow Film Festival is pleased to welcome fans back to the Royal Cinema this year.

Blood in the Snow, which showcases the best in independent Canadian horror, is set to take place between November 18 – 23 at the Royal Cinema in Toronto, Ontario.

We, at Horror Facts, are also pleased to announce that we will be among the patrons attending this year’s festival.

As a bonus, the good people at Blood in the Snow were kind enough to provide us with advance copies of some of the films featured at this year’s festival.

Over the coming days, the team at Horror Facts will be releasing reviews on these truly unique and imaginative Canadian horror films.

One of the first films we had the opportunity to watch was Joseph Covello’s short film, ‘He Comes at Night,’ which tells the story of anxious eight-year-old Alexa who is convinced that there is something hiding under her bed.

On one particularly stormy night, Alexa wakes up to discover that her night light has gone out and her stuffed horse has, regrettably, fallen onto the floor.

The scene of Alexa hesitantly reaching out to pick up her toy taps perfectly into our real childhood fear of grabbing something off the floor, fearing that, at any moment, a hand would snatch our own.

From here, ‘He Comes at Night’ reveals that Alexa’s worst fears have come true, as an unwanted guest appears to enter her room this night – something that moves unnaturally swiftly and now, regrettably, sits perched in the corner of her room.

Where the scene also excels is with Alexa’s desire to cover herself up with her blanket. This also ties perfectly into our childhood beliefs that the monster couldn’t get us under the covers.

As the disjointed entity moves closer to her bed, Alexa is forced to cover herself up tightly to protect herself from this unnatural visitor.

The use of perspective from underneath the covers as the monster moves closer to the bed puts us in the place of Alexa and we are forced to contemplate what we would do in her place.

The use of shadows on Alexa’s blanket as the creature looms over her in bed, and the overall decision to cloak the figure in shadow for most of the film, serve to enhance the sense of the unknown. There is one moment in the film, however, where we see the creature courtesy of a crack of lightning outside the window. 

The film ends brilliantly on an unsettling note, signaling that Covello knew what would leave the most impactful ending to his audience.

‘He Comes at Night’ is able to maintain this level of suspense throughout its entirety. It is able to tap into this forgotten fear of the dark and our childhood fears of what lurked in the darkness. It reminds us of the unsettling sensation that we had growing up that there was something hiding under our bed and asks the question, “What would you do if you found out your fears were right?”

‘He Comes at Night’ will be premiering at Blood in the Snow on Saturday, November 20. Make sure this is one of the many films you check out at this year’s festival.

‘He Comes at Night’ is written and directed by Joseph Covello and stars Georgia Rickerby as Alexa, Mallory Holmes as Rosemary, Mary Phan as the reporter, and Nicholas Eddie as the monster.

Passes and tickets for Blood in the Snow are on sale now at www.bloodinthesnow.ca

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