Saturday, 27 June 2015

IT FOLLOWS **** USA 2014 Dir: David Robert Mitchell. 100 mins

Shot in widescreen with an emphasis on HALLOWEEN-inspired autumnal tones and deliberate camera moves, this is a genuinely eerie composite of 50’s-style trust-no-one paranoia, inverted slasher movie (here, sex=life) and J-horror infused supernatural spookiness. THE GUEST’s Maika Monroe is terrific as a teenage girl who learns after sex with her date that she is the latest victim of a mysterious evil force referred to only as “It” that will hound her to her doom – in the form of omnipresent, partially clothed strangers that appear to pursue her at any given moment. Her only hope: passing “It” on to another via intercourse.
With a disorientating “out-of-time” look and feel reinforced by the old-school TV sets, 1960’s cars and ambiguous fashions, this offers a horror experience in direct opposition to the in-your-face shock tactics of so many Hollywood genre products. The pacing is unhurried but absolutely nails a sustained sense of slow burn unease, and the performances are naturalistic rather than showy. Resembling a uniquely creepy hybrid of RINGU, John Carpenter’s oeuvre and a number of indie teen dramas, IT FOLLOWS is the kind of bleak, smart, unpatronising horror flick that comes along too rarely and it has an outstanding retro-electronic score by Disasterpiece.

Review by Steven West

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