|Audio Format:||DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1|
|Runtime:||1 Hours 40 mins|
|Release Date:||USA: Jul 14 2015
UK: Jun 29 2015
|See If You Like:||Nightmare On Elm Street,
It’ll find her, that’s what It does. That’s all It does…
Over the past few years the horror genre has become increasingly stale, with little if any innovation; heavily relying on reboots/rehashes of old properties, and low-budget found-footage trash, peppered by cheap scares, and boobed-up blondes getting cut down by masked men; but It Follows is different. It Follows is fresh. It Follows is new. It Follows is deeply unsettling, and the best horror film for decades.
Coming from writer/director David Robert Mitchell (The Myth Of the American Sleepover), It Follows tells the tale of 19-year-old Jay (Maika Monroe, The Guest), a nice quiet girl who upon sleeping with her handsome new boyfriend for the first time, wakes to find herself bound and tied to a wheelchair, and her ‘boyfriend’ warning her of what’s to come; ‘It’ will start following her. It can change shape to look like anyone she’s knows, a friend, a loved one, a total stranger, and it will come for her. No-one but those who’ve been chased by it can see it. It’ll fixate on her, stalk her until it catches up to her, and then it will kill her.
Understandably Jay is freaked out, but refuses to believe such an outlandish story until an old woman in a hospital gown, apparently non-existent to everyone else, starts making a beeline for her during class. Until windows start breaking at her home, twisted men and women start walking towards her for no reason, and she feels she is being targeted. Luckily that’s when her sister, and a troupe of close friends (who initially thought she was bonkers) step-in and decide to help save her.
What follows is an unnerving, deeply unsettling, and thoroughly thought-provoking masterclass in suspense; crafted through the ethics involved with passing ‘it’ on (as Jay wrestles with the decision of knowingly inflicting such a trauma on somebody else, or living with it for the rest of her life), the truly disturbing notion of this supernatural Terminator continually walking towards the generally helpless Jay (at a steady zombie-like pace), and the uncertainty of what will happen if it ever does catch up to her; as we’re never specifically informed about the rues and mechanics of how this new demon works, or if there’s even a way to stop it other than passing it on.
David Robert Mitchell has done a fantastic job in that respect, crafting a lasting horror which is a stand-out genre hit, worthy of the hype, and actually sticks with you long after leaving the cinema. It’s new, it’s fresh, and yet it still fells like a throwback to the glory days of horror; not only coming to screens with a truly fantastic, eerie, and lost-lasting, synthesised score by Rich Vreeland (also known as Disasterpeace), but preying on the fears on audience members, and giving them something new to collectively fear; a shared nightmare which is so tense, and so engrossing, there’s no denying it’s the best horror movie for years.
Cinematography was also spot on; utilising numerous wide-shots to heighten the feelings of isolation when needs be, close-ups on certain objects or aspects of characters which just made everything more unsettling (even if there was nothing to worry about); and while the cast weren’t big budget names by any means, they all filled their respective roles with ease.
Maika Monroe, who excelled in last year’s low budget thriller The Guest (another worthwhile throwback worth checking out), was excellent as the troubled Jay; being believably terrified throughout, though remaining likeable and not too vulnerable at the same time. Keri Gilchrist (It’s Kind Of A Funny Story) was adept at playing the sometimes subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, lad who’s clearly pining for Jay’s affections, while Lili Sepe (Spork) and Olivia Luccardi (The Rewrite) were well placed as Jay’s sister Kelly and odd friend Yara respectively.
Seeing a horror movie such as this, a film which could reinvigorate a stagnant genre, really is something special. It’s a throwback film which doesn’t simply play homage to, imitate, or outright copy anything we’ve seen before. It’s new, it’s creepy as hell, and it’s a film which is guaranteed to be loved by everyone who sees if (even though it’ll scare the pants off you).
Refusing to rely on easy jump-scares, and instead bringing the scariest STD ever conceived to life in a brutal and truly lasting way, It Follows is a true horror masterpiece. With solid acting, brilliant direction, a fantastically original concept, and a frankly brilliant score it’s a film which deserves to be seen by everyone, and a film which has restored this critic’s faith in the genre completely.
It Follows is not only the best horror film released in decades, It Follows is the very definition of a horror must-see.
Despite being a relatively small, indie movie, It Follows looks surprisingly good on Blu-ray; featuring excellent black levels (which were always going to be the mark of success/kiss of death for this release) and solid delineation, as well as natural looking fleshtones, a strong level of fine detail (despite the occasional dip and soft shot creeping into the mix), superb textures, and hardly any noticeable compression issues.
There’s also a great sense of depth created here, and colour representation is always fantastic; as even if the film generally has a slight blue-tinge, and a generally drab range, whenever sparks of colour or lighter locales are used the extent of the range becomes apparent and never wavers. Meaning the video quality overall, is excellent.
Key to any horror film is a well rounded, suspenseful, and perfectly levelled/timed soundtrack, and thankfully It Follows has that in spades; not only does the awesomely retro, synth, disturbing score from Disasterpeace fill the soundstage with all the vigour and dread you’d hope, it’s haunting melodies are given new life with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track which boasts consistent, natural, and engrossing ambient effects, weighty low-end, consistently clear dialogue, excellent levelling, and some scarily effective effects and transitions.
While not the most extensive collection of special features ever seen on a Blu-ray, each of the bonus materials included on the It Follows Blu-ray (including the photo gallery) are worthwhile additions; the audio commentary (which includes Film 2015’s Danny Leigh and Mark Jancovich – Professor of Film and Television Studies at the University of East Anglia) is both engaging and surprisingly informative, and the interview with composer Disasterpeace is a great watch for every fan of the film (particularly as the score formed such a hugely effective part of the film).
The Bottom Line:
Even if the picture and sound quality weren’t all that great it’d be hard not to recommend It Follows (it really is the best, most original, most inventive, and thought-provoking horror movie released in years), but thankfully it not only looks good, but sounds great on Blu-ray too.
The extras might not be too bountiful, but what’s included is worthwhile, and really you’ll be buying this Blu-ray for one thing above all else, the film; and thankfully the film is fantastic. So with a slim yet decent selection of special features, excellent audio and video, and a brilliant film to boot, there’s really no reason not to own It Follows – a guaranteed future classic of the genre, and a Blu-ray must-buy.
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