Film, DVD, Blu-Ray & Streaming Reviews - By Fans For Fans



Directed by David Robert Mitchell.
Starring Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi.
Horror, US, 100 Minutes, certificate 15.


Released on 4K UHD & Blu-ray by Second Sight Films on September 21st 2023.


Second Sight Films have been raiding our wallets lately with their recent slate of deluxe limited editions of classic horror films. To make our shelves bend and buckle even further is a 4K remaster of David Robert Mitchell’s 2014 surprise hit IT FOLLOWS. It seems a wonder now in these times when social media seems all too ready to pounce upon and ridicule any concept out of the ordinary that IT FOLLOWS escaped any such attention, instead finding an audience eager to explore the premise of what is essentially a teenage girl haunted by a sexually transmitted ghost.


Mitchell’s second film, after the little-seen debut THE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER, made an instant splash at Cannes before going on to garner mass acclaim and hit well above expectations at the box office. Its dreamy atmosphere, laced with a keenly observed look at teenage angst and ennui, elevates the promise of its high concept, which could quickly become ridiculous in the hands of someone far less skilled. The arthouse/indie styling seem to make it a forerunner of the type of film that A24 would make their name with in later years. Perhaps it also gave rise to that dreaded and ridiculous term “elevated horror.” Whether that is or is not the case, it cannot be denied that it is one of the previous decades’ best horror films


Nearly a decade later, the film impresses just as much now as it did then. The 4K disc’s picture quality sharpens and highlights the numerous nightmarish visuals of the slowly stalking figure(s) that terrorise Maika Monroe’s cursed heroine Jay, in all of its various guises. The sharpness has the viewer still straining and anxiously scanning the background for any suspicious-looking spectral figures slowly making their way into view. At the same time, the elevated sound mix delivers Disasterpeace’s memorable soundtrack in all its pitches and tones louder and crisper than the film's previous Blu-ray and DVD releases.


Supporting the film is another generous set of extras that contextualise and explain the film's place in genre history. Interviews with supporting players Keir Gilchrist and Olivia Luccardi provide informative and illuminating interviews on the film's low-budget shoot and lasting influence that nearly make up for the absence of any thoughts from Mitchell himself or Maika Monroe, who also made such an impression here. Two commentaries, one from Joshua Grimm, who wrote the book on It Follows, published by Devil’s Advocate, which is entertaining and informative, much like his book. In contrast, the other, older commentary from critic Danny Leigh and lecturer Mark Jancovich is an exciting and intelligent discussion between two figures that nicely displays their enthusiasm and thoughts on the film. Other interviews with producer David Kaplan, composer Rich Vreeland and production designer Michael Perry are also on offer, with an interesting visual essay by Joseph Wallace looking into the film’s sense of location and place within the genre.


As we wait for Mitchell’s next film, a long rumoured 80’s set dinosaur movie, after his underrated stoner-noir follow-up UNDER THE SILVER LAKE, this is a sterling reminder of how exciting and fresh this film felt when first released, especially in its superbly presented remastering and generous, informative extras. Its nightmarish sense of dread is as disturbing today as it did last decade. It leaves you wanting more from its director, who made such an impression here with this superbly realised slice of contemporary American horror.


A highly recommended purchase.


Iain MacLeod.


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Film, DVD, Blu-Ray & Streaming Reviews
By Fans For Fans