Written and directed by David Robert Mitchell, this waking nightmare of a film lovingly and slowly builds into a creepfest of major proportions; it follows 19-year-old Jay (Maika Monroe), a carefree college student in an unspecified suburb during an unspecified era (pre-smartphone, pre-cable TV) who — after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter — finds herself being followed by “it,” a living apparition that can look like anyone (including loved ones) and can only be seen by those with a “curse” passed on through sex by someone previously afflicted with the curse. The curse will pursue her and, if it catches her, will kill her and then go back after the person who passed it to her. To survive, she must pass the curse on to someone else and hope they don’t die. The premise, while simple, is laden with nightmarish images (and many allusions to mortality and death, including passages from T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “The Idiot”) and lovingly photographed with wide-angle lenses and swooping 360-degree shots (kudos to cinematographer Mike Gioulakis). There’s also an ominous score by Rich Vreeland, better known as Disasterpeace. An auspicious — and critically acclaimed — outing. Co-stars are Keir Gilchrist, Lili Sepe, Olivia Luccardi, Loren Bass, Bailey Spry and Daniel Zovatto.Vitals: Director: David Robert Mitchell. Stars: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Lili Sepe, Olivia Luccardi, Loren Bass, Bailey Spry, Daniel Zovatto. 2015, CC, MPAA rating: R, 97 min., Horror, Box office gross: $14.527 million, Radius-TWC/Anchor Bay. Extras: Critics’ commentary hosted by Nerdist’s Scott Weinberg and featuring 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); “A Conversation With Film Composer Disasterpeace” featurette, poster art gallery.