It Follows, 2014
Written and Directed by David Robert Mitchell
Starring Maika Monroe, Lili Sepe, Keir Gilchrist, Bailey Spry, Jake Weary, Daniel Zovatto
For 19-year-old Jay, fall should be about school, boys and weekends out at the lake. But after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter, she finds herself plagued by strange visions and the inescapable sense that someone, or something, is following her.
A young adult female is terrified and under harrowing pressure that someone or something is following her. She gets in her car and drives off into the distance to a beach and lies on the sand, while beautifully choreographed in the background are the headlights of her car lighting up the night. Could this be some sort of demonic car? Maybe. It’s a highly unsettling sight, but by morning we witness a scene far more graphic; the woman is dead with her leg mutilated.
The introduction to It Follows brutally sets the stage to offset a somewhat silly premise. Sexual content is no stranger to the horror genre, but what if the act itself was a vessel to pass on something that only you can see, and that is only fixated on killing you. How? We don’t really know, the entity simply takes form of a human being (it could also resemble a loved one or a friend) and endlessly stalks its victim. Not only is that incredibly creepy, but the opening to the film demonstrates everything you need to know about how much this thing can annihilate a living person.
It Follows is a tense piece of filmmaking that somehow manages to make the viewer root for the prey over the malevolent supernatural force hellbent on killing this young innocent girl, unless her and her friends can manage to defeat it or if she passes it along. The problem with passing it along however, is if that person dies, the previous person becomes the target yet again. It is also worth mentioning that this thing is only visible to someone that has caught the disease. Get it? Because it’s transferred through sex. Ok let’s move on.
Some of the imagery is also downright horrifying, and far less in-your-face than a more mainstream horror film. It Follows is a literate summary of what this supernatural force does, and every time it shows up, no matter what form, there is a strong sense of dread. We know that this thing is dangerous, but not exactly how, and those missing details are just enough to keep you on the verge of pissing your pants. Every time our heroic young adults attempt to fight back, the movie yields unequivocally riveting results. It’s almost as if someone took the concept of The Terminator and tweaked it into a full-blown horror film.
Another winning decision in the creative department is the film’s atmosphere, which seems to be set in the late 80s or possibly early 90s. Harkening back to times where technology was less prevalent only instills more fear and the feeling of isolation. There’s also an amazing original soundtrack by Disasterpeace filled with haunting chiptune electronic beats that up the intensity to every single scene. It’s an early contender for one of the year’s best soundtracks.
It Follows is already my favorite movie of 2015 so far, and I expect it to stay there for quite some time. It is an absolutely horrifying film that plays on fear of the unknown, that also has some creative twists on the horror genre. The film also takes sex, a cliché of horror, and uses it to charge a narrative that is sometimes surprisingly smart and compelling. The soundtrack is hypnotic and elevates the intensity on every level. Simply put, this is one of the greatest horror movies ever made.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Robert Kojder – An aficionado of film, wrestling, and gaming. Follow me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook