It’s rare that a horror movie these days tries to go for a creepy feel. Doing a creepy vibe is hard, especially when so many horror movie fans would rather the filmmakers just get to the ‘meat’ of the story right away. It seems as if some horror fans won’t be satisfied unless somebody is gorily killed off within the first five minutes of a movie. Well, It Follows has that perquisite in that a young woman is seen being stalked in the opening minutes of the film. But we’re never shown who or what she’s running from exactly, and when she’s killed, we see a shot of her horribly mangled body well after the fact.
But that opening scene serves its purpose: thanks to its stylish, continuous single take shot showing a young woman losing her shit on an upscale suburban street, to the shot showing her grisly demise (without showing you how she wound up being so badly mangled), you’re hooked. I was pulled right into writer/director David Robert Mitchell’s fascinating and compelling story of teenagers who wind up being haunted by some kind of ’thing’ after they have sex. To say it serves as a metaphor for sexually transmitted disease is pretty obvious, but It Follows also stands very tall as a well-made horror film.
Maika Monroe stars as Jay, who has been dating a really nice guy named Hugh (Jake Weary). But Hugh is not what he appears to be. In a nice twist from the teenage guy who loves a girl and then dumps her, Hugh proceeds to explain the unique post coital situation that Jay finds herself in by showing her the dreadful creature that arrives to do her in. The thing has no name, but it changes form at the blink of an eye and only its prey can see it. Think of it as being a supernatural version of the Terminator robots where it just keeps on coming, no matter what.
Shot in a great, low-key, slow burn manner, It Follows depicts its horror scenes with the same bluntness as its everyday moments, and that makes it even more creepier. You’re forced to look through a crowd for the thing, and after a few seconds, you spot it coming right at you, and in that instant, you have a good idea of what Jay feels in that moment. If you prefer a non-gory horror film that builds up its scares slowly through its fully fleshed out characters and rich atmosphere, then give It Follows a shot. –SF