University of Pittsburgh Annual Lecture with Professor Adam Lowenstein: “A Detroit Landscape with Figures: The Subtractive Horror of It Follows”.
“David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows (2014), filmed and set in Detroit, Michigan, is one of the most excitingly inventive horror films of recent years. It Follows testifies to what we can learn about cinematic horror by focusing on landscape, an element which is usually considered secondary at best, rather than the monsters, killings, and gore that are most often deemed primary. I will contend that It Follows teaches us valuable things about horror’s relative investments not so much in a body count that adds up, but in a landscape where human presence is subtracted.”
Adam Lowenstein is Associate Professor of English and Film Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of Dreaming of Cinema: Spectatorship, Surrealism, and the Age of Digital Media (Columbia University Press, 2015), Shocking Representation: Historical Trauma, National Cinema, and the Modern Horror Film (Columbia University Press, 2005), as well as numerous articles in journals and anthologies.