(director/writer: David Robert Mitchell; cinematographer: Michael Gioulakis; editor: Julio Perez IV; music: Rich Vreeland, a.k.a. Disasterpeace; cast: Maika Monroe (Jay Height), Keir Gilchrist (Paul), Olivia Luccardi (Yara), Daniel Zovatto (Greg), Jake Weary (Hugh/Jeff), Lili Sepe (Kelly); Runtime: 94; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Rebecca Green, Laura D. Smith, David Kaplan, Erik Rommesmo; Radius-TWC; 2014)
“It is low-tech stylish, which gives it its convincing power.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A visually stunning low-budget horror film, with some great long take shots. The film is also charged with an eerie atmosphere, as the fright flick adheres to the 1950s horror classics. It is low-tech stylish, which gives it its convincing power. It also helps that the acting comes across so natural from the unknown cast. Writer-director David Robert Mitchell(“The Myth Of The American Sleepover“) in his second film, shoots for horror affecting suburban teens and keeps things simple but scary.
It’s set during autumn in a middle-class Detroit suburb. For some reason a 19-year-old girl, Jay (Maika Monroe), is running in fear for her life, and in high-heels. Jay screwed Hugh (Jack Weary) for the first time in the backseat of his car and he passed onto her the possessive demonic It. The bad choice lover then ties Jay up to a chair in a garage and explains the dire predicament he put her in.
The supernatural force is shapeless, and can adjust to any human shape. The only ones to see it are the infected. We also learn that It can only be passed on through sex. Meanwhile Jack has vanished. After the police are informed by the frightened girl of her possession, they say there’s nothing they can do since the sex was legal. It then becomes up to her skeptical friends to help her find a way to escape and fight back. The scares come as we see Jay approached in the distances by invisible zombie-like stalkers in her peripheral vision, leaving her in constant fear and with no place to run to.
It’s a pleasure to see old-fashioned film craft and good storytelling being used so effectively in a modern-day teen horror film. This one is a keeper.
REVIEWED ON 2/28/2016 GRADE: B+