It Follows

Following (pun intended) on the heels of writer-director Jennifer Kent’s mesmerizing horror reinvention The Babadook comes another relative multi-hyphenate newbie David Robert Mitchell with his sly take on the unrelenting things that hound unsuspecting teens on the big screen. It Follows subverts the typical playbook, though, twisting the powerful allure of sexuality and the morality of abstinence by forcing its young heroine Jay (Maika Monroe) to consider whether it might be a better form of protection to have sex with others to create a human barrier between herself and the slow but steady unseen (to everyone else) force that will not stop until it claims her life. The film contains numerous throwback elements — simplistic setups tracking victims for long stretches and rudimentary electronic blips and ominous chord progressions — and a low-fi aesthetic that screams late 1970s-early 1980s John Carpenter-George Romero at their best, but the sensibility belongs to a here and now that is finally ready to move past the found footage trend that has hijacked our minds. (Opens Friday) (R) Grade: A-

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