It Follows Review
If it’s following you, then the only way to get rid of it is to have sex with someone and pass it on so that it will follow another person. That’s the creepy premise at the heart of It Follows. Director David Robert Mitchell has crafted a horror film that feels equally fresh and classic.
At the heart of the film is Jay Height (Maika Monroe), a young girl who has the curse passed to her after she is seduced by a seemingly kind young man. In truth he was simply trying to pass on the curse. The horror of the film occurs from not knowing who or where the creature is. It can take the form of anybody and rarely appears as the same person twice. The film correctly leaves it’s origins and weaknesses shrouded in mystery deepening the horror of the film. The creature can certainly be interpreted as a metaphor for S.T.D’s as well as a warning against having sex carelessly but I think the film functions best without any metaphors attached to it. Taken at face value the film works great as a modern nightmare.
The sense of dread It Follows conjures up in its viewers is nothing short of perfection. It does this in a few interesting ways. The first is the expansive camera angles which constantly hint at something off in the distance or just out of view. The second is the atmosphere. The movie was filmed in Detroit and the bleak nature of the houses and urban decay only lend another nightmarish quality to It Follows. I believe the most important aspect of the terror comes directly from the music, which was masterfully composed by Disasterpiece. It’s full of some of the most frightening and perfect sounds I’ve ever heard. It does a great job of unnerving you and keeping you unable to anticipate what will be around the next corner of the film.
On top of that the acting is top notch throughout. Although the cast is full of fresh faces they all play their parts so convincingly that you’d think they were veterans of the movie industry. Horror films, especially independent horror films remain a fertile ground for young actors to prove themselves. Although Keir Gilchrist is not the newest member of the cast he does a fantastic job as the film’s primary male protagonist, Jake. We clearly see him struggle with his feelings for Jay and he even shows a bit of ingenuity as he creates a plan to stop the creature.
The film’s climax is a thing of beauty as Jay and her young group of friends including Jake attempt to confront the creature by luring it into a trap. This aspect of the film is reminiscent of a lot of great horror films and it all comes together wonderfully. I don’t want to ruin the ending but I need to discuss it because of how much it impressed me so if you haven’t seen It Follows yet I’d recommend you stop reading here. If not, continue on.
In the end the demise of the creature is left completely ambiguous. They may have killed the creature in the trap they set or it may still be following them every second of the day. Jake seems to doubt it’s death as he goes to scope out prostitutes to pass the curse onto. The last shot of the film is perfect as it shows our two main characters being followed but if it’s by the creature or a normal human is left to our imagination and that is the most chilling ending the film could have possibly had.