The Mysterious Goat Connection in ‘The Witch’ and ‘It Comes at Night’

The Witch / It Comes At Night

The Witch (above left) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2015 to quietly glowing reviews, playing at select festivals in the following months and eventually opening in theaters throughout the U.S. last year. The title, of course, signaled that it was a horror movie of some sort, which was reinforced by the eerie marketing materials.

The period setting and unsettling tone won over many fans. That included both horror devotees and more mainstream fans who appreciated the movie’s unusual, somewhat mysterious approach to its subject matter.

This year, It Comes at Night (top, right) debuted at the inaugural Overlook Film Festival, generating very positive reactions. Otherwise, though, it skipped the festival circuit.

Still, writer and director Trey Edward Shults had earned many fans with Krisha, a hard-edged family drama that received much critical praise. Strengthening that impression, the first trailer introduced a very mysterious and eerie tone, raising anticipation higher.

The two movies share a distributor, A24 Films, and perhaps a similar approach to unconventional, disturbing subjects. Yet otherwise they seemed to share nothing else in common.

Recently, however, It Comes at Night stars Riley Keough and Christopher Abbott revealed a mysterious connection. In an interview with Mic (via Vulture) that mentioned The Witch as a comparison point, Keough says: “The same goat, by the way.”

Abbott says: “It was literally the same goat. … He or she wasn’t as featured in our movie, but [it was the] same goat actor. … It must just be A24’s goat.”

The goat is named Black Philip in The Witch, set in the 1630s. Unfortunately, in It Comes at Night, which takes place in the modern day, the goat does not have a name and has a smaller role. Perhaps the goat needs a new agent?