IT LIVES INSIDE opens September 22nd
The best kind of horror stories are the ones that offer a refreshing message or commentary that audiences can relate to or learn from hidden subtly within its scares. It also helps when those scares are, to put it simply, downright terrifying. Based on what we know so far about IT LIVES INSIDE, it appears that said film could be one of the best horror movies of 2023 by being the best of both worlds.
From the producers of Jordan Peele’s shocking Academy Award® winner, GET OUT, this new teen thriller has already been honored with stellar reviews and the Midnighter Audience Award at the SXSW Film & TV Festival this year. AMC Theatres is prolonging its esteem by highlighting it as part of our Thrills & Chills program. See why by taking a look at this guide to everything horror fans should know about IT LIVES INSIDE before they experience just what “It” is on the big screen.
A Modern Demonic Folktale
The horror genre has also been known to be a great vessel for learning about diverse cultures by basing its stories on folklore from all around the world. IT LIVES INSIDE is certainly no exception, being rooted in an ancient Indian legend of a demon known as a Pishach that thrives on the negative thoughts and energy of those it latches itself onto.
This very same evil entity comes to haunt an American-born high school student whose growing insecurities regarding her Indian heritage cause her to have a fallout with her fellow Indian-American best friend. Little does she know that this conflict has allowed the Pishach to emerge and threaten the life of her friend, forcing her to embrace her cultural identity if she is to rescue her from a horrid fate.
A Diverse Cast
Leading this modern take on Indian folklore as Samidha is one of the most promising, up-and-coming Indian-American actors of her generation, Megan Suri, who previously starred in a coming-of-age thriller earlier this year called MISSING, following her regular role on the Netflix dramedy, “Never Have I Ever.” Making her feature film debut as Samidha’s tormented estranged friend, Tamira, is Mohana Krishnan, who is best known for Nickelodeon’s sci-fi sitcom, “I Am Frankie.”
The IT LIVES INSIDE also includes Neeru Bajwa — popular star of Indian movies like the 2012 rom-com, JATT & JULIET, and its 2013 sequel — in one of her first English-language productions. Vik Sahay — best known for playing Lester Patel on NBC’s spy dramedy “Chuck” and a small role in the 2019 Marvel Cinematic Universe hit, CAPTAIN MARVEL — also stars. The ensemble also features horror royalty in the form of Betty Gabriel from 2016’s THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR, the 2018 found footage sequel, UNFRIENDED: DARK WEB, writer and director Leigh Whannell’s dystopian thriller from the same year, UPGRADE and the aforementioned instant classic, GET OUT.
Bishal Dutta’s Debut
Many of the most exciting horror movie releases in recent memory have come from first-time directors. IT LIVES INSIDE appears to be continuing that streak as the feature-length film debut of writer and director Bishal Dutta, who not only based the film off of the Pishach, but also took inspiration from his own childhood, according to a statement published by Fangoria.
Dutta got his start directing short films like his very first project — the 2015 romantic thriller, SUMMERTIME SADNESS — and 2016’s CITY NIGHTS, which he also co-wrote with Sheldon Anthony. He took his first shot at a horror story with his most recent short, called INFERNO, in 2019 and, that same year, directed two episodes of the six-episode gay romance drama, “Triads,” which he also helped write.
Watch The Trailer
Even without having prior knowledge of the terrifying history of the Pishach, or Bishal Dutta’s previous experience with horror, or the talented actors who make up the ensemble, watching the trailer for IT LIVES INSIDE should be enough to convince fans that they are in for a good scare. To see what we mean, check out the full clip below at your own risk:
The alarming imagery of a clearly traumatized Tamira delicately holding a dark and dingy jar is enough to pique one’s curiosity before we learn that it houses the Pishach. The teaser increases the suspense by revealing more about how the entity operates — slowly tantalizing its hosts by isolating them from their loved ones and attacking anyone who may come to their aid — amid a montage of horrifying torment. The real kicker, though, are the glimpses at what the demon looks like — a mass of pitch darkness only interrupted by the dull shine of its beady eyes.