While the whole “sex = death” trope might be less prevalent in horror movies than some assume, it does exist and is ripe for evaluation. Enter David Robert Mitchell, whose It Follows features a monster who hunts its victims by taking a form that will disturb the target and then slowly, but relentlessly, stalks them. The only way to avoid the monster? Have sex with someone else, thus passing on the curse.
Set in the ruins of post-Great Recession Detroit, It Follows stars an excellent Maika Monroe as Jay, a suburban teen who gets the curse after her first sexual experience. Jay and her friends try to find a way to stop the monster from finding her, making for a movie that’s as emotionally resonant as it is absolutely terrifying. Mitchell’s confident direction, combined with a dynamic electronic score by Disasterpiece, makes It Follows the best of the John Carpenter-influenced horror movies we got in the 2010s.
Ouija: Origin of Evil
Horror fans can be very forgiving, not only will we keep watching franchises as they shamble into fourth, fifth, and sixth entries, but we’ll even champion sequels long after the rest of the public has abandoned them. But even by that standard, Ouija: Origin of Evil, the prequel to a little-loved PG-13 movie from 2014, seems an unlikely choice to win fan support.
But Origin of Evil outdoes its predecessor in every way thanks to the involvement of director Mike Flanagan, who co-wrote the movie with Jeff Howard. Still early in his career, Flanagan brings everything you expect to Ouija: Origin of Evil, such as strong performances from his stock players (including Elizabeth Reaser and Henry Thomas), as well as long conversations and monologues about faith, despair, and the meaning of life.
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