Watching “It Follows” again, I’m struck by the shocking truth that this film is almost a decade old. Maybe it’s director David Robert Mitchell’s very intentional placement of this film in a setting that feels almost flung out of time—they go see “Charade” and watch old movies, dress like it’s the ‘80s at times, but the victim in the prologue has a cellphone—but “It Follows” hasn’t aged at all. It could come out today and it would be one of the best films of 2023, in any genre. It’s a film that I appreciate more with each viewing, this time struck by how Mitchell incorporates his influences (Carpenter and Lynch, for example) without calling overt attention to them, and how he visually foregrounds his themes of voyeurism and an unsettling lack of safety even in a suburbia that should be harmless. The 4K transfer is nice, but the audio mix is even more impressive, making that killer score even more effective with a new Dolby Atmos track produced by Second Sight.
As for supplemental material, there are two fun commentary tracks. The solo one by Joshua Grimm seems very well-versed in the production details, offering anecdotes about how a scene ended up being shot, where it was filmed, and why Mitchell and ace cinematographer Mike Gioulakis made certain choices. It’s funny and informative, as is the paired commentary by Danny Leigh and Mark Jancovich, although it would have been nice to get a female critic/scholar’s opinion on a film that definitely has something to say about gender issues. The interviews are brief but solid, including new ones with Keir Gilchrist and Olivia Luccardi. There’s also a new video essay by Joseph Wallace, and the limited edition includes 150 pages of essays, one of which is by regular RogerEbert.com contributor Katie Rife.
The “It Follows” release was jointly released in recent weeks by a fantastic 4K edition of David Cronenberg’s “Crimes of the Future,” a movie with so much to unpack and discuss that it’s perfect for a limited edition format dense with special features. Cronenberg first wrote a draft of this script over decades ago, and he would go on to play with many of its themes in movies like “Naked Lunch,” “ExistenZ,” “Crash,” and many more. A video essay by Leigh Singer deftly tracks the obsessions of Cronenberg, a man who doesn’t like the phrase “body horror” that’s so often applied to his work.