Friday, May 17, 2019

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

It Follows (2014)

Yara: When I was a little girl my parents would not allow me to go south of 8th mile. And I did not even know what that meant until I got a little older. And I started realizing that. That was where the city started and the suburbs ended. And I used to think about how shitty and weird was that. I mean I had to ask permission to go to the state fair with my best friend and her parents only because it was a few blocks past the border.

One of the best things about David Robert Mitchell's horror masterpiece It Follows -- which came out five years ago today! -- is its sense of location. Alongside Jim Jarmusch's Only Lovers Left Alive in 2013 (and to a lesser-noticed degree the horror film Boo! from last year) Detroit, as its sunk under its own history, has proven a stellar spot for scare-flicks; the urban decay and isolation, all of those empty lots and windows staring back at you. You feel boxed in by ghosts, and It Follows makes tremendous use of that strange surreal sensation. 

And after finally seeing Mitchell's follow-up film Under the Silver Lake, which isn't a horror film at all but which shares that same profound understanding of place and atmosphere and strangeness, I'm already ready to christen Mitchell as one of our finest young surrealists around. He gets weirdness, a world following its own incomprehensible logic, as well as anybody making movies today.

The last we heard (heh, wait for it) about Mitchell's next project follows this though -- it's supposed to be another horror film, one called They Hear It (there it is) that;'s about a sound that drives people to madness. It's not a new idea -- for just a couple of recent examples Stephen King did it in Cell, and there's the great Pontypool of course, and even though it's not technically about that Berberian Sound Studio feels like it's about that. But if that does turn out to be Mitchell's next project (its announcement was a year ago, and A24 totally ditched Under the Silver Lake in the time since then) I could see him making fabulous use of a theater's speakers to unnerve us. I welcome it!

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