Film Review: It Follows

ITFOLLOWSA young woman goes on a couple of dates with a young man only to find out that he has given her something that there were no high school film strips to warn her about. It Follows is the story of Jay (Maika Monroe) who is smitten with Hugh, but unfortunately he hasn’t told her that he is cursed and the only way to remedy this curse is to pass it on to someone else through sex. Once this curse has been passed to you the titular “it” can take any human form and will slowly but relentlessly follow you until it kills you. On top of that if you pass the curse on to someone and they are killed by “it” then “it” comes right back to you. Luckily as would happen in these types of films Jay has her sister Kelly and a group of friends to help her cope with and figure out a solution to her predicament.

It Follows is a cinematic breath of fresh air; while the premise isn’t wholly original, it certainly is a startlingly original vision that challenges the state of the modern horror film. Beautifully shot and composed of mostly long lingering shots, the aesthetic of It Follows seems to go against the shaky cam, fast cutting rut that the horror genre has fallen into. What starts off as visions of picturesque suburban slacker life soon deteriorates to dilapidated settings throughout Detroit as the film progresses and the main character’s grip on reality seemingly lessens. Along with the visual style, the film also has a score that harkens back to films past while combining elements of John Carpenter’s early ’80s synth style with avant garde elements of Ennio Morricone’s early ’70s giallo scores.

Competently written and wonderfully acted, while I have a few problems with some of the characters’ actions and motivations, overall It Follows is a film that I would highly recommend not only for horror fans but for fans of interesting quirky indie cinema in general. This film creeps up on you and leaves you wondering about every slow walking person you pass on the street. It Follows is currently screening at numerous cinemas in the area and works amazingly in the theatrical setting.

It Follows (2014); Dir: David Robert Mitchell; Starring: Maika Monroe, Lili Sepe, Keir Gilchrist

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