Sunday, April 05, 2015

Movies: It Follows

"It Follows" is a horror movie lover's horror movie, but not in the self-referential, "Cabin in the Woods" sense. Instead of winking at the conventions established by giants like Carpenter, Craven, and Cronenberg, director David Robert Mitchell has absorbed most of their lessons and fashioned his own deeply personal nightmare:

Maika Monroe stars as Jay, a pretty young woman living in suburban Detroit. After having sex with her boyfriend Hugh, she wakes up strapped to a wheelchair. Hugh explains that the sex "passed on" some sort of curse to Jay -from now on, a mysterious shape-changing entity will follow her relentlessly. It's slow, but not stupid, and if it ever reaches her, she's dead.

"It Follows" uses this elemental premise the way a musician uses a jazz standard. These are the same teens in danger and creepy suburbs you've seen in dozens of slasher movies, but Mitchell extracts the maximum amount of tension out of eerie Detroit ruins and lingering wide-angle shots. The movie is also blessed with a vulnerable, star-making performance from Monroe and an incredible chiptunes soundtrack by Disasterpeace,

That's not to say the direction is flawless, as several scenes are more or less lifted from "Halloween" or "Nightmare on Elm Street." The movie also loses some steam in its third act, as is typical for the genre. These are small quibbles, though, and they don't change that "It Follows" is a worthwhile nightmare to wake up from.

Rating: 8/10


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