After a date and seemingly innocent sexual encounter, 19-year-old Jay is left with an inescapable sense that someone, or something is following her. Jay and her friends team up to try and find ways escape the traumatising horrors that are always right behind them.
It Follows is a suspenseful, beautifully shot, horror film that takes old, tired horror clichés and puts a smart, culturally relevant spin on them whilst maintaining a timeless class that the horror genre hasn’t seen for a long time. Teen sex, suburbia, murder, and nightmarish demons all take on a new layer of substance and style. Writer/Director David Robert Mitchell reminds us why these horror fundamentals are used so often and shows his peers how it’s done.
What We Thought:
You might have heard some of the ever-increasing buzz about the new horror movie It Follows. You might not have even heard of the film at all. Either way, it doesn’t matter. You need to see this movie. It’s not only the single best horror movie I’ve seen in a very long time, it’s easily one of the best films of any genre I’ve seen this year.
The official synopsis above doesn’t do this movie justice. And part of that is because it’s not a plot-heavy film. Basically, there’s a curse of sorts that is passed along through sex, and when we meet Jay, she’s just gotten it passed along to her. And now, something is following her. Relentlessly. That pretty much sums it up, but this isn’t a movie about story. It’s about atmosphere.
This is a movie that’s all about mood, tension, and atmosphere. It’s filled with quiet, lonely, forlorn scenes, and it oozes with intensity in every single frame. And when the horrific parts do come around, they’ll scare the hell out of you.
There’s hardly any blood in the film. Zero CGI. No quiet-quiet-quiet-bang! moments that are design solely to make you jump. Instead, what you get is creeping dread that increases by the minute.
Maika Monroe is fantastic in the lead role, bringing a realism and humanism to what is often a thankless job in horror films. The supporting cast, mostly unknowns except for Keir Gilchrist, are also all terrific. The characters in this film come across like regular kids, not actors playing people in a horror movie.
In a year filled with some exceptional horror entries so far (The Babadook, Muck), It Follows manages to somehow stand head and shoulders above the rest, and that’s no small feat. Track this film down and watch it now; you won’t forget it for a long time to come.