Movies just like life take you through peaks and valleys. Just when it seems a certain genre of film can’t get any worse, a new breed of filmmaker comes around and puts everything on the right track. I am someone who grew up in the golden era of slasher-films, when men in masks killed promiscuous high school kids in gory and over-the-top ways. Needless to say my bar for quality in horror is pretty high. Don’t get me wrong, those movies had their good points, but after the third or fourth sequel, they all just ran out of energy and originality. I am not going to lie, the genre went through some dark times, “One Missed Call” anyone? There finally seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel as we just may be going through a renaissance of horror movies.
“It Follows”, a simple but almost perfect concept. Jay (Maika Monroe) is your typical pretty girl, who has a good group of friends she hangs around with Paul (Keir Gilchrist), Yara (Olivia Luccardi), and her sister Kelly (Lili Sepe) doing what kids their age do, which is not much. Jay though has just met a guy named Hugh (Jake Weary), whom she really likes, but on their second date something happens. After a steamy time in the back seat of a car, Hugh tells Jay that he has passed on something to her, and although not an STD, it is something she can’t get rid of, unless she passes it onto someone else. This thing she’s warned about follows you and can appear in any form, if it catches you it’s all over, so a lot of running away is involved. Jay and her friends try to figure out how to help her before it’s too late.
I don’t know where to start with this film, but just to tell you it’s pretty phenomenal. With elements of 2002’s “The Ring”, and “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, “It Follows” adds a lot to the mix, like eerie 360° camera shots and its fantastic throwback soundtrack. Writer/Director David Robert Mitchell does just about everything right in both tone and the amount of terror derived from some one just walking towards you. He has made a film that is filled with atmosphere, originality, subtext, and a unique take on the subject of young adult sex. It’s the kind of film that can be enjoyed in a dark theater with strangers or alone in your home. It is also my favorite kind of horror, the kind that begs a repeat viewing.
The visual effects are not that great, but the practical ones, that being the thing doing the actual ‘following’, where it shows up and what it does can be truly terrifying at times. Whatever the secret ingredient is, “It Follows” has it, because not only is it a good horror film, it is a good film period. So if you are looking for something that can bring a little fear and pleasure at the same time this is the film for you, just remember though as you leave the theater, take that occasional glance over your shoulder. You never know.
Brian Taylor & Robert L. Castillo