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In the heyday of slasher films, the fastest way for characters to get themselves killed was by having sex. For a few bloodthirsty years following the release of John Carpenter’s “Halloween” in 1978, audiences delighted in watching homicidal maniacs dispatch casts of copulating teens, before finally being vanquished by the one girl — and it was always a girl — whose virginal purity remained intact.

This dubious genre trope is given an ingenious spin in “It Follows,” the sophomore feature by writer-director David Robert Mitchell. It turns adolescent sexuality into a sort of Ponzi scheme, where fornicating can mark you for death — unless you pass the curse on to someone else.

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