Tonight She Comes 2017
After a girl goes missing, two of her friends and a mysterious set of strangers find themselves drawn to the cabin in the woods where she disappeared. They will laugh, they will drink, they will kiss, they will make love, and THEY MUST ALL DIE.
Larissa White, Jenna McDonald, and Dal Nicole
Few films reach the level of grotesquery achieved in Tonight She Comes while simultaneously entertaining, challenging, and offering food for thought. What appears to be a near-pornographic cacophony of boobs, blood, and gust gets deceptively deep, with subtext exploring gender dynamics and (specifically) female sexual frustration. Tonight She Comes covers a lot of territories, combining elements of retro-slashers, the “cabin in the woods” subgenre, and backwoods hillbillies motifs, as well as demonic possession and ritualistic supernatural terror—all this with a humongous dollop of black comedy that makes Tonight She Comes both side-splitting and stomach-churning.
Sexploitation is on the menu, as the titular She (played by Dal Nicole) spends the entire film naked and covered with blood, displaying the kind of detailed full-frontal that earns films a hard NC-17. This titillation, though, is juxtaposed against powerful gross-out moments as Tonight She Comes is the most blatant examination of menstrual-phobia since Excision; brace yourselves for juicy tampons, free-bleeding, and the consumption of black, clotted blood. Those who found the eating of uncooked meat in the recent cannibal horror Raw nauseating have no business giving Tonight She Comes a spin, as it grabs hold of your gag-reflex and refuses to let go. Through all of this depravity, director Matt Stuertz explores issues that are as uncomfortable to discuss as the film is to watch.
Official Synopsis: After a girl goes missing, two of her friends and a mysterious set of strangers find themselves drawn to the cabin in the woods where she disappeared. They will laugh, they will drink, they will kiss, they will make love, and THEY MUST ALL DIE.
Tonight She Comes is written and directed by Matt Stuertz and stars Larissa White, Jenna McDonald, and Dal Nicole.
The double entendre in the title, Tonight She Comes, is absolutely intentional; it speaks to the relentless nature of the demon who comes calling, but also to the pent up sexual frustration many women feel in regard to one-way copulations that focus exclusively on male pleasure. The 20-something women looking for a fun weekend away at the lake are ravaged by hormones, so much so that they initiate coitus with the first stranger who wanders onto the property. Still, unspoken competition means no one gets any joy, as the women undermine each other’s efforts. When we finally see some genuine fucking in Act 3, it’s ridiculously disappointing—but this is by design. Ultimately, Tonight She Comes becomes a metaphor female empowerment, putting the responsibility for satisfaction on those who need it most. One of the most powerful moments is a parallel for oral sex, one the flips preconceived gender roles with a duo of women demanding that a man “Swallow it!”.
While the quartet of victims are relatively 2-dimensional, the real stand-outs are the inbred, backwoods, devil-worshiping family who shows up out of nowhere. Specifically, religious zealot Francis (played by Frankie Ray) and Felicity played (Jenna McDonald) excel; and of the two, McDonald is the ultimate scene-stealer as the meek daughter who turns out to be more powerful, creative, and committed than anyone gave her credit for. McDonald’s performance elevates Tonight She Comes an entire point, as it’s her no-holds-barred performance of what must have been a difficult role that is the X-Factor catapulting the film from competence to greatness.
I did find myself struggling with the First Act, not because it was difficult to follow or boring; rather, it was a convoluted narrative whose only purpose was getting all the 20-somethings to the same cabin—an eventuality that could have been set up in a variety of simpler (and more believable) ways. I found myself wondering about why part-time postal carriers don’t get uniforms when I should have been getting into the spirit of the film. Still, it’s part of the deceptive “immaturity” that Stuertz uses to deliver a very important message that makes the script a success. Some fine-tuning could have been the difference between great and exemplary work. Still, I’ll be running (not walking) to see whatever this filmmaker comes up with next.
Bottom Line: Tonight She Comes uses the cabin-in-the-woods subgenre and supernatural motifs to create a poignant examination of female sexual frustration that’s as hysterical to experience as it is difficult to endure. This bloody, madcap film has as much social relevance as movies that wear their political agendas on their sleeves, like Get Out—it’s just buried. Fans of films like Evil Dead and Cabin in the Woods will be especially pleased, but anyone who tackles this twisted tale needs to hunker down for some seriously gag-inducing depravity.