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IT FOLLOWS (review)

it_followsIT FOLLOWS
Written and Directed by David Robert Mitchell

Staring Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist and Jake Weary

Teen horror has been in a boring state these past few years, but director David Robert Mitchell (THE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER) is aiming to change that with a new flick that is both stylistic and rather sophisticated without being blatant about it.

IT FOLLOWS is a rather standard teen movie premise about the dangers of unprotected/pre-marital sex. Jay (new “it girl”, Maika Monroe) is dating Hugh (Jake Weary), a guy she and her sister both seem to agree is a great guy. After they have sex for the first time he sits her down and explains he has passed something on to her that will follow her and kill her unless she sleeps with someone else to pass it on to. Already this film is going for the full on STI scare tactic, but Mitchell works the story in such a way that is focuses much more on creating a frightening tale than one that gets preachy with its audience.

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As Jay begins to think she is losing her mind and the “thing” (for lack of a better word) begins to follow her, she enlists the help of her sister and friends. They band together to help Jay, but there isn’t much they can do when it is something only she herself can see. IT FOLLOWS is very much a teen movie with very little screen time for adults and parents; interestingly enough what we do see of them is often shot from behind, or is simply just their voices.

Shot on location in Detroit, the surreal suburban and urban landscapes of this decaying city work chillingly as a backdrop to tell this tale of adolescent lust gone awry. The way each shot is framed, the way the camera slowly sweeps across a room, or the slow moving eeriness of the creature itself foster tension and unease very well, too well. It may sound like a rehashing of NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, but IT FOLLOWS holds its own and is absolutely frightening in its own right. It could also be a great teaching tool for teen abstinence classes.

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