- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A horror film this year gave critics a reason to rejoice for its reinvigoration of the supernatural stalker genre.

The chilling, 100-minute It Follows (Anchor Bay Home Entertainment, Rated R, $29.99), now on Blu-ray, finds a 19-year-old girl’s too-casual sexual encounter leading to a shape-shifting presence following her and wanting to kill her, if it can get close enough. Her only respite from the danger occurs is if she can pass the curse to another unlucky partner.

Director David Robert Mitchell’s minimalist effort plays with the themes of horror films “Halloween” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street” but never quite eclipses either. My audience concurred, finding the film loaded with chills and creepiness but little in the area of outright scares and lingering horror. The release of the “The Babadook” to home theaters is still the benchmark for 2015.

Now, besides the sexually transmitted disease allegory pounding us over the head, “It Follows” does deliver an ominous warning standard to any teen slasher film. At its simplest, having casual sex can lead to a gruesome death.

The digital transfer captures every pixel of detail tied to the moody atmosphere concocted by cinematographer Mike Gioulakis. His visual choices in a dilapidated building parking area and an encounter on a stark beach will fray the nerves.

And, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack highlights a fantastic and memorable score from composer Disasterpiece (Rich Vreeland).

As far as extras on the disk, one feature is absolutely worth it for fans.

Specifically, an entertaining and unusual optional commentary track offering a small army of critics to dissect and reap praise upon the film.

Host Scott Weinberg (“Nerdist”) talks most and literally calls in help from Eric D. Snider (“Moviebs”), Britt Hayes (“Screencrush”), Samuel D. Zimmerman (“Shock Till You Drop”), Alison Nastasi (“Flavorwire”) and Eric Vespe (“Ain’t It Cool News”).

Each offers some refreshing opinions diving into the film’s exploration of sex, disease, death, gender dynamics and consequences of actions.

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