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It Follows

In the opening scenes, a young woman is running scared from something we don’t see. The reason why becomes clear when Jay, the lead character, is involved in a very unusual sexual encounter. She wakes up to find herself tied to a wheelchair, and her sex partner tells her that he has passed something onto her and, in the process, has rid himself of it. Jay will be followed by something that takes on various human forms that only she can see. How that plays out with her and her friends is the story of this really original film. I loved the film for a number of reasons: (a) it is beautiful to watch – the way it is filmed makes it feel very ethereal and other-worldly; (b) the score is awesome and creates a mood that kept me riveted to the screen; (c) the actors, none of whom I recognized from anywhere, are really good and believable teenagers – there is a psychological component to the movie that is very authentic; (d) there are some really “jump out of your seat” moments – one comes not far into the movie and suddenly I was paying attention to everything (wonderful timing); (e) while there are some nods to other movies in the genre, in many ways the filmmaker seems to be inventing a new kind of horror movie; and (f) I loved the ending. There is a true artistry here as score, cinematography, and setting are blended into something equally beautiful and terrifying. Big thumbs up for a really creepy movie that doesn’t need to rely on blood for its scares; it reminded me in some ways of the originality of The Babadouk from last year. (2015; 4.5 stars)

About Gary Burkholder

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