It Follows Review
After carefree teenager Jay (Maika Monroe) sleeps with her new boyfriend, Hugh (Jake Weary), for the first time, she learns that she is the latest recipient of a fatal curse that is passed from victim to victim via sexual intercourse. Death, Jay learns, will creep inexorably toward her as either a friend or a stranger. Jay’s friends don’t believe her seemingly paranoid ravings, until they too begin to see the phantom assassins and band together to help her flee or defend herself.
It Follows is a horror film about an entity that relentlessly pursues its victim until it either makes the kill or the victim passes it on. The entity itself is, oddly enough, sexually transmitted. As a result, it will only pursue the last person to contract it or the person before them. It can take on the form of anyone at any time; a friend, a family member, or a stranger. The film follows Jay (Maika Monroe) as she contracts the demon then learns about its nature as she and her friends seek to defeat it.
As a child, writer and director David Robert Mitchell claims to suffer frequent night terrors of malevolent being pursuing him. “From what I understand, it’s an anxiety dream […] Whatever I was going through at that time, my parents divorced when I was around that age, so I imagine it was something to do with that.” Also, the names of the characters are largely references to classic horror films. The protagonist’s full name is Jamie, a nod to Scream’s Jamie Lee Curtis. They also both have a sister named Kelly.
I’m not usually a fan of horror films. It’s not that I find them scary, I just find the vast majority to be cheesy and a little boring. It Follows, however, is one of only a tiny handful of horror films that genuinely unnerved me. The concept is unique and very well executed. The film sets itself in an unknown era where modern cars drive side-by-side with brand new vintage era cars. Cell phones exist yet nobody seems to own one. One character uses a modern pager yet everyone seems to have a TV set from the 1980s. Additionally, people wear swimsuits alongside others wearing winter coats and it all creates a setting that you cannot get comfortable with.
My drawback with the film is the ending. While I like to keep my reviews relatively spoiler free, I have to say the ending is just too sudden. I wanted more, and while this is great, I feel it ended at a halfway point. Despite this, I watched with bated breath, constantly scanning the background for signs of the monster. I don’t recall ever watching a horror film that kept me as on edge as this one has. It is because of this I’d watch It Follows again and recommend it to anyone who likes a scare.