HOLLYWOOD—I seriously can’t recall the last time I saw a horror film that literally left me unnerved. Tapping into that realm of originality is rarely seen in this genre, but “It Follows” has set the stage to instill fear in all.
The thriller directed by David Robert Mitchell instills a level of fear that is mesmerizing to say the least. It reminds you of those nostalgic flicks from the early 1970s. Think of what would happen if “The Exorcist” and “Halloween” had a baby, that’s what “It Follows” gives to its audience.
The movie revolves around a sexual curse that travels from person to person, similar to an idea that appeared in the movie “The Grudge,” but it was more about being at the wrong place at the wrong time. This is something that can be passed onto you without your knowledge, especially if you’re not careful.
The narrative follows Jay (Maika Monroe) who finds her life turned upside down by an evil entity that only she can see after sleeping with Hugh (Jake Weary). That is the scary and original factor that makes this movie superior. Is Jay going crazy, or is an actual evil seeking to take her life? I will argue the opening scene for the movie does indeed set the stage for the creepy factor that carries out throughout the rest of the film.
At its core, simplicity is the one thing that “It Follows” has going for it. The story is not overcomplicated to a degree that it confuses the audience. Perhaps the ongoing theme that will haunt viewers is the fact that the movie taps into the issue of sex and promiscuity. It’s something I would say all Americans fear at some point, the possibility of catching a sexually transmitted disease from being intimate, especially without contraception.
“It Follows” doesn’t beat that theory into the spectator’s head, it’s a lingering theme, that you can’t seem to escape. Mitchell utilizes the camera in the most effective ways to heighten the level of suspense for the audience.
This is a director who has an inside troupe into what works and what doesn’t work in the realm of horror. The camera is effectively used to deliver those shocking moments the audience won’t expect, but also to create that dread; we know something is about to happen, we just don’t know what and when. It’s nice to see a movie that relies on storytelling as a hook for the audience. You don’t care how these people die, as most horror flicks of the 1980s catered to.
This movie has a villain that can assume many forms, so you never know who you can or who you can’t trust. “It Follows” is the sleeper hit of 2015 because not only is it a horror film that will have everyone talking, it raises a question about everyday life that is not always addressed: be careful who you sleep with, the fallout can be dangerous or deadly.