It Follows Review
I am not sure "It Follows" tackles any new ground. Tying horror with teen sex is not a new idea at all. But somehow, "It Follows" feels original, makes the genre feel fresher than ever. There has been a lot of hype circling around this film after it hit the Cannes film festival last year. It has been getting plenty of traction since it hit theaters nationwide earlier this year. "It Follows" is a revelation for horror fans, something to get giddy about. It is a smash of atmosphere and mood. It features the creepiest of soundtracks which only enrich the material of the movie. It is brought together by a wonderful ensemble of young actors, all of whom but their hearts and souls into this movie. I think you all will be surprised by how much "It Follows" strikes a cord.
The film begins by putting you on the edge. A girl runs out of her home in the wee hours of morning. Something has her panicked and uneasy. She runs around in a circle until she runs back into her house, grabs a set of keys, gets into a car and drives to a lonely beach. When the sun rises, her body is lifeless. It is a confusing yet affecting way to begin a film, and at that point I was more than onboard.
We then meet Jay Height (Maika Monroe) who is going on a date with Hugh (Jake Weary) the ends abruptly and on odd terms, as if Hugh someone is keeping tabs on Hugh. No matter, Jay and Hugh meet up once more and make love to each other. After they conduct their business, Hugh abducts Jay. Not to hurt her, but to show her something. Some kind of evil force has been following Hugh and the only way to get rid of it is to sleep with someone then pass it onto them. So if Jay wants to live, she must have sex with someone then show them the evil force. It is kind of a goofy set-up for a horror film, but how many movies of this genre can you name that appear normal? This has always been a stranger genre, and just as long as the movie scares, I can at least stay interested.
I certainly was scared. The amount of paranoia director David Robert Mitchell creates over the next hour and a half is unrelenting. This evil power can assume the identity of anyone, using anybody to their advantage to get closer to their prey. It doesn't move fast, but it is not dumb and it always catches up with Jay. Add in that amazing music I mentioned above, and you've got yourself one spooky good time. The film is very surreal in the way it is directed, almost as if you are experiencing someone's nightmare, which makes the movie even more scary. There is also something very creepy about the way this force moves. Of course, this being a horror movie, it will take the shape of the most disturbing people you have ever seen. The way the people walk toward their victims is immensely scary and definitely put me on edge.
The work done by Maika Monroe is quite strong. She may play the typical teenager in peril that this genre is famous for. But she does so with confidence and with control over her craft. She is relatively new to the scene and she just landed a role in the upcoming "Independence Day" sequel. After seeing this, I am little more excited about this sequel. I am curious to see where her career takes her, as she seems pretty fearless as a performer.
The only thing that really got my goat was how silly the ending was. Sure, its a horror movie and it is supposed to be scary. But there is a scene involving a pool and several different things which could kill you if they hit water and you are in it. How the scene played out was just so out-there that it nearly took me out of the whole film. Horror films walk the line between silly and scary all the time and it just takes the slightest of a hand in order to topple the movie down. I think the movie is still a satisfying whole, but I think I won't be able to watch the ending again without snickering.
But hey, whose complaining? To get a horror movie this right without much blood or gore is an achievement unto itself. There is a little nudity in the movie, but not very much. Taken as a whole, "It Follows" is not your usual modern staple horror film. This is something that could really change the game, if it hasn't already. For the cast and crew involved, I can't wait to see what is next.
FINAL GRADE: B