Movie Review - It Follows
If you've heard a lot of hype surrounding the release of the film It Follows, there's a really good reason for that. It's because once and awhile a film comes along that is so strikingly original and genuinely terrifying that it transcends people's cynicism for the genre and ends up winning over audiences and critics alike. It Follows is deservedly one of those films. Writer-director David Robert Mitchell creates a horrifying and yet simple premise that goes right to the heart of what it means to be afraid, and sits with you long after the films conclusion. It turns genre tropes on their head without feeling self-congratulatory, and redefines the limits of minimalism in horror with an extremely sincere and lo-fi approach to narrative story telling. It Follows is nothing short of ground-breaking, and one of the most pleasantly surprising horror films of the last ten years. See it now while it's still in theaters, it's worth every cent.
A teenage girl, Jay Height, becomes romantically entangled with a boy her age named Hugh. After a few dates she finally gives into her desire, but after sleeping with Hugh, he tells her that he has passed something on to her. An unknown entity, that is going to follow her. Something that will never stop until she is dead... and the only way to pass it on is through sexual intercourse. And once it begins its' relentless pursuit, Jay and her companions will learn exactly what it means to be afraid.
The acting from each and every member of the cast is superb, all anchored by the astoundingly grounded and captivating performance of lead actress Maika Monroe (of last years thriller, The Guest). Her ability to convey terror through her eyes makes the tension feel immediate and overwhelming. And Kier Gilchrist gives another nuanced and subtle performance on the heels of his stellar work in Dark Summer. Olivia Luccardi and Lili Sepe, as Jay's best friend Yara and sister Kelly, have a natural onscreen chemistry that provides for some of the more comical moments in the film. And solid performances from Jake Weary as Hugh and Daniel Zovatto as Jay's neighbor Greg make the entire ensemble feel completely authentic and add dimension, keeping the movie from feeling one note.
But it isn't just an amazing cast or the beauty of the story's simplicity that cements this as an instant-classic, it is also due in large part to the throbbing score by Rich Vreeland (better known as Disasterpeace). It not only makes the film stand out, but perfectly sets the tone for the action, and even provides some of its' own jump scares. But the backbone of the films success is writer-director David Robert Mitchell, who manages to masterfully balance the score against his breath-taking visual presentation and unique story. And what he's produced here is a film indicative of a man with much more experience behind the camera, which is only a credit to his immense talent both with the pen and with framing a shot, and I look forward to seeing more from him in the future.
In the meantime, go see It Follows. It is relentlessly scary and will keep you glued to your seat from it's disturbing opening scene to the very last frame. If you like that feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach, this film has to be experienced. I can't wait to see it again. Enjoy.
- Leo Francis