The premise of It Follows sounds like the worst film ever when said out loud. But sometimes the best ideas are the unusual ones. This thrilling and atmospheric horror focuses on teenager Jay (Monroe), who after sleeping with her new boyfriend, becomes the target of a supernatural entity – a curse passed on through sex.
There’s clear undertones at play here, as the curse is passed on like an STD. It’s a unique idea that I was still sceptical about. The plot seemed too simplistic and obvious in what was trying to say, but I was very surprised by the quality of It Follows. It’s an unnerving horror that gets under your skin, creeping you out. But you won’t want to stop watching, as the film has a delirious trance-like quality that keeps you hooked. As the film’s title implies, the creature simply follows Jay persistently, always at a slow walk until it catches her, and the being can take the form of any person that only she can see. The film ultimately taps into the basic fear of being hunted, but amplifying it even further by making the main character the only person who can see the hunter. It’s an interesting tweak on horror conventions.
It Follows is suspenseful and slowly paced that never relies on cheap shocks and thrills. David Robert Mitchell yields his creep factor the old fashioned way, creating scares that are purposeful and to be earned. The film was like a revelation for me, because I was finally seeing a truly great contemporary horror film. The style, pacing, and tone of It Follows, hark back to that of the classic horror movies. Even the thundering, thrumming music made me think of films like Halloween. What also sets the film apart from its contemporaries, is that the group of kids actually get along, and there aren’t any that the viewer is forced to hate, like in most teen horror films.
The “It” of It Follows, is a creature that I found really unsettling. It’s a slow-moving and shape-shifting version of The Terminator that literally never stops. We aren’t told much about the monster’s origin, but that doesn’t seem to be Mitchell’s concern. It’s more of a symbol, an unexplained force that stops us dead in our tracks.
Ignore what your initial assumption may tell you about the ludicrous-sounding plot, because It Follows is a masterful film. It’s spooky, gripping, cold-blooded, and one of the best horror films in recent cinematic history.
Quoted: “It could look like someone you know or it could be a stranger in a crowd. Whatever helps it get close to you.”
Directed and written by: David Robert Mitchell
Stars: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi
Distributor: Icon Film Distribution (UK) (Theatrical)
Run Time: 100 min
Have you seen It Follows? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.