IT LIVES INSIDE is an exciting meditation on culture and horror, a unique blend of classic horror tropes from the 70s and 80s and the cultural experiences of director Bishal Dutta.
Dutta uses horror to precisely capture the anxieties that accompany the immigrant experience, then uses culture to subvert expectations and comment on horror genre tropes.
Although the film’s message was rather derivative, carried in a story like this one, it was still powerful. A significant cross-section of contemporary South Asian-American filmography, like BLINDED BY THE LIGHT and NEVER HAVE I EVER, documents the experience of immigrant teens, highlighting the pressures of assimilation and the tug-of-war between the two sides of a hyphenated identity, but few approach the subject with such intricate storytelling and commitment to genre as Dutta.
And, although the film sometimes slips into cheesiness and faux-profundity, it is still a welcome respite from the inundation of Biblical horror films, and despite its PG-13 rating, maintains a decent level of terror with a phenomenal score from composer Wesley Hughes.
Incorporating vivid elements of South Asian culture and inspiration from horror classics like A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, Dutta ultimately creates a delightful creature feature that, while not as bold or clever as films from the same producers like GET OUT, still promises to frighten and fascinate.
Experience IT LIVES INSIDE now in theaters.