A clever little horror movie, It Follows will give you the willies about casual ‘encounters’. Low on gore but creepy as hell, it’s beautifully shot; the use of a wide-angle lense gives it a Kubrick or Carpenter feel, with our lead Jay (Maika Monroe) predominantly in the centre of the screen. Seeing the tension literally come at her from the side, or behind her, builds up the threat of what she is facing. Or sometimes what she isn’t physically facing – she doesn’t know it’s coming.
It’s a film of our times – a curse which is passed on by sexual encounters; an entity will follow you and kill you if it catches up with you. The entity takes many forms – a tall man with his eyes gouged out, a dead relative, or in one of Jay’s cases a half naked woman covered in blood who is passing urine. It’s grim, and you never quite know what’s coming next. The only way to break the curse is to pass it onto someone else through a bit of rumpy pumpy – only, if they get caught and die, it then comes back to you.
It’s a simple premise but one that works neatly in this film. The scares build up, with the stalking by the entity similar to the constant slow-walking threat of Michael Myers. He’ll always get you in the end though! There is a sense of despair at the hopelessness of Jay’s situation – will she ever escape this curse? How long would it take to come back to her?
Monroe was fantastic in The Guest and It Follows has a similar feel, with the score composition by Disasterpeace. It has a retro vibe – the TVs in Jay’s house are old fashioned, home telephones are used to contact friends in peril. This all adds to the old school horror ambience of the film.
Some of Jay’s decisions could be questioned about the path she takes, but it’s a well made horror which deservedly already has cult status. Give it a go…but use some protection! Out of interest, whether the curse can be stopped with condoms isn’t actually explored.
TOTAL RATING: 7/10
GORE RATING: 2/5
Watch it for: the cinematography – just wonderful
Watch out for: Creepy naked man on roof. Yikes!