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Sundance Review: It Follows

 Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi, Lili Sepe and Daniel Zovatto 

David Robert Mitchell has done something truly remarkable with his follow up to the spectacular teen drama MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER, he made a completely original, tense as hell thriller/horror film built on performance and atmosphere with an incredibly effective score from Disasterpeace. I'd say they don't make them like this anymore but I'm not sure they ever have made them like this. IT FOLLOWS on some level reminds me of John Crapenter's HALLOWEEN but that's mainly due to the anamorphic widescreen and the brilliant score. This is a film that's certainly aware of the horror films that have come before it but it in no way is pigeon held to them.

IT FOLLOWS is f*%$ing relentless. This is in no way a "once it gets going" type film, it comes out of the gate swinging, you barely are given a chance to catch your breath. The scariest moments in this film are in the title, moments of something following. I will in no way give away anything about this film, I have too much respect for the filmmaker and you as an audience member to possibly cheapen any of its impact. I'm not sure that if I went into the specifics of the plot it would lessen the impact but its just not worth the risk.

 Maika Monroe in IT FOLLOWS

This is a rare movie that will satisfy the die hard horror fans and the cinefiles alike. Movies rarely scare me anymore. I've read too many issues of Fangoria and watched too many behind the scenes docs with Tom Savini to be effected by gore anymore. I can appreciate a good sight gag in a horror film but I see them akin to magic tricks, fun but devoid of any real emotional punch. The reason IT FOLLOWS got to me was its lack of dependence on gore. It certainly has some nasty moments but the ones that had me squirming in my chair were earned from the performances of this insanely gifted young cast and the score.

 Maika Monroe (Jay) and Keir Gilchrist (Paul) are brilliant actors who elevate this film beyond any genre trappings. As Mitchell showed with SLEEPOVER he is far more concerned with acting and emotional honesty than exploitation or titillation. Most suspense/horror films are so focused on the gags they loose sight of performance but the great ones are always about the characters. When I think about THE SHINNING its not the elevator pouring gallons of blood that comes to mind as the scariest moment, its the scene where Jack Torrance is starring out the window while Danny is playing in the labyrinth. There are several moments in IT FOLLOWS that inspired actual fear in me. I don't scare easily and this film freaked me the f*%k out.

IT FOLLOWS opens March 13th and is currently playing at Sundance
  • 11:59 PM
    SAT 1/24
  • 9:30 PM
    SUN 1/25
  • 11:45 PM
    FRI 1/30
  • 11:59 PM
    SAT 1/31
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Mark this one on your calendar. You'll want to see it with an audience.