It Follows – USA, 2014 – reviews

It Follows is a 2014 American supernatural horror feature film written and directed by David Robert Mitchell. The movie stars Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi (Feral) and Lili Sepe.

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The distinctive synthesizer soundtrack was created by Richard Vreeland, better known by his stage name Disasterpeace.

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Buy Blu-ray + Digital HD: Amazon.com

Plot:

For nineteen year-old Jay, fall should be about school, boys and weekends out at the lake. But after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter, she finds herself plagued by strange visions and the inescapable sense that someone, or something, is following her. Faced with this burden, Jay and her teenage friends must find a way to escape the horrors that seem to be only a few steps behind…

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Reviews:

“Facing the anxieties of their encroaching mortality as their carefree teen years begin to fade away, the teens in It Follows realize they’ve been trapped by a frightening inevitability. There’s nothing as inherently terrifying as the steady approach of an evil presence that just keeps on coming. It Follows explores the intimate aspects of that fear by suggesting that it will never, ever dissipate.” Eric Kohn, Indiewire

‘Gruesome murder set pieces are not the focus here, however. Unusually sensitive to its female cast (led by the captivating Maika Monroe), It Follows makes explicit the usual horror movie subtext about teenage sexuality, updating it to the era of social media. The result is a film that’s more about goosebumps than gore, with an unsettling, slow-moving, shape-changing monster that sticks like glue to its victims and won’t stop, ever, till it gets what it wants.’ Damon Wise, Radio Times

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Buy Blu-ray: Amazon.co.uk

“… for every second of this sparse, precise story of supernatural stalkers in suburbia, you know that writer-director David Robert Mitchell has both hands firmly on the wheel. You’re just never sure where he’s driving you.” Tom Huddleston, Time Out

“David Robert Mitchell’s lo-fi, revisionist take on the slasher flick’s horny-teen-victim trope is filled with stylistic flourishes (that 360-degree pan is a stunner), pitch-perfect John Carpenter homages and a genuine sense that you’re watching a waking nightmare.” Charles Bramesco, Rolling Stone

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“Mitchell has achieved something much more experienced directors have tried to do and failed. Not only will it get under your skin, It Follows, like all good horror movies, is really about something else. But let’s talk about that once you’ve seen it…” Phil de Semlyen, Empire

It Follows – which deserves even more marks for that marvellously suggestive title – does this entire lineage proud, not just by switching tacks from runic subterfuge or videotape circulation to the rather Cronenbergy gambit of inflicting a demon on your unfortunate sex partner. It’s altogether smart, subtextually fascinating, and more or less a contemporary horror fan’s dream come true.’ Tim Robey, The Telegraph

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” … the most clever tweak on horror conventions since Cabin In The Woods. But unlike Cabin, which was sly and witty, this movie plays almost all of it straight. (I’m assuming that Carpenter-esque synthesizer score is meant to be a bit of a gag. If not, well, my chuckles were unintended)”. Jordan Hoffman, Bad Ass Digest

” …remarkably effective for most of its running time, ratcheting up the tension, then stinging the audience periodically with one of those jolts that sends everyone levitating a couple inches above their seats. But the excitement wears off after a point, once the kids realize they don’t really understand what they’re dealing with, resulting in a couple of badly staged set pieces…” Peter Debruge, Variety

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‘Mitchell uses the widescreen frame in the manner of vintage John Carpenter, while Disasterpeace (aka Rich Vreeland) contributes a score that evokes Carpenter’s insistent synth sounds but forges its own unique, nerve-scraping identity.’ Kim Newman, Sight and Sound

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Buy CD: Amazon.co.uk

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‘ …it’s a horror movie in which you connect, admire and like the characters on screen, making you want to root for them to win in the end and overcome this terrible affliction that won’t leave them alone. The sisterly bond between is incredibly sweet and believable, as is the dorky friend-zone relationship between Jay and Paul (a superb Keir Gilchrist). Even the subtle backstory relationship Jay has with neighbour Greg is played beautifully, which builds to an epic climax later on in the movie. This is not your average slasher movie filled with dingbat jocks and dense cheerleaders…’ Luke Owen, Flickering Myth

Cast and characters:

  • Bailey Spry … Annie
  • Carollette Phillips … Woman with Groceries
  • Loren Bass … Annie’s Father
  • Keir Gilchrist … Paul
  • Maika Monroe … Jay Height
  • Lili Sepe … Kelly Height
  • Charles Gertner … Neighbour Boy
  • Debbie Williams … Mrs Height (as Deborah Williams)
  • Olivia Luccardi … Yara
  • Jake Weary … Hugh / Jeff
  • Daniel Zovatto … Greg Hannigan
  • Ruby Harris … Mrs Redmond
  • Leisa Pulido … Mrs Hannigan
  • D.J. Oliver … Police Officer (as DJ Oliver)
  • Linda Boston … Teacher (as Linda B. Boston-Gilbert)
  • Ingrid Mortimer … Old Woman in Pajamas
  • Kourtney Bell … Chatting Girl
  • Alexyss Spradlin … Girl in Kitchen
  • Mike Lanier … Giant Man
  • Claire Sloma … Greg’s Date (Pretty Girl in Car)
  • Scott Norman … Homeless Man Behind Tree
  • Erin Stone … High School Girl in Courtyard
  • Joanna Bronson … Nurse
  • Don Hails … Old  Man
  • Ele Bardha … Mr Height

Release:

The film screened at Cannes as part of the Critics Week and at Fantastic Fest, where it picked up awards for Best Film and Best Screenplay.

Icon Film Distribution released It Follows in British cinemas on February 27, 2015. In the USA, the film was released on March 27, 2015.

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