A loan officer who evicts an old woman from her home finds herself the recipient of a supernatural curse. Desperate, she turns to a seer to try and save her soul, while evil forces work to push her to a breaking point.
For nineteen-year-old Jay, Autumn should be about school, boys and week-ends out at the lake. But after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter, she finds herself plagued by strange visions and the inescapable sense that someone, something, is following her. Faced with this burden, Jay and her friends must find a way to escape the horrors, that seem to be only a few steps behind. Written by
When Hugh brings Jay to the abandoned parking structure, the entity- in the form of a naked woman- is seen at the base of the structure wearing sandals. When the entity appears on the upper level of the parking structure moments later, it is barefoot. It had plenty of time to cast off the sandals. See more »
It could look like someone you know or it could be a stranger in a crowd. Whatever helps it get close to you.
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There are no opening credits at all, and the title does not appear on-screen until the end of the film. See more »
Jay (Maika Monroe) is a young, attractive girl coming-of-age who lives in the suburbs and, like pretty much every other young person, is finding out who she is through trial, through error, and with her friends for company. She is seeing a guy, Hugh, who acts a little odd sometimes but otherwise seems nice and trustworthy so one night she consents to his advances and they share an awkward but intimate moment in the back of his car. However, her post-coital bliss is cut short when Hugh inexplicably chloroforms her. She wakes up tied to a wheelchair in a derelict building where Hugh is rambling an apology about how he is doing this to her to show her that it's real, that it sometimes takes the form of someone you love to mess with you, and that she has to sleep with someone to pass on the curse. She is convinced he is mad until she sees "it".
The rest of the film sees "it" stalking Jay. Fortunately, she is able to demonstrate the reality of "it" to her friends who band together around her, without the help from any adult authority, as they try to understand the nature of this thing and how they can help her friend given her reluctance to merely pass it along by sleeping with another poor unsuspecting horny teen.
Honestly, the culmination of the first act of the film, in the derelict building, came as a complete surprise: the scene showed me a fresh vision of horror which was genuinely scary and discomforting despite my jaded tastes. The slowness of the preceding scenes matured into a crushing, intense uncertainty when I realised that it wasn't what I expected from a horror and felt, for the first time in a long while, a sense of not knowing what I was watching.
The rest of the movie doesn't quite live up to this chilling reveal. To be frank, I can't think of how it could. Rather, the themes and references that led to the reveal are unpacked to flesh out the film's universe. We see multiple scenes of urban decay and adult authority figures are conspicuous by their absence. In addition, the refreshingly natural colour palette (not that grungy green which seems to characterise most horror movies these days) and a creepy score create a palpable sense of alienation and loneliness which mirrors the characters' confusion as they attempt to battle this malevolent force in the middle of the standard sexual and identity confusions of youth.
What's more, as the film progresses we realise that despite being set in the present the cars, TVs, and clothes seem to be imported in from the 80s. At first incongruous, as the film progresses I saw that these choices could be seen as an homage to the slasher movies of the late 70s/early 80s, especially John Carpenter's 'Halloween', with their subtexts of the dangers of unsupervised teenagers having sex which is clearly much of what 'It Follows' is concerned with. The result is a film which appears bold and fresh, but under closer examination reveals a fertile heritage of horror which it gains much from drawing upon and referring to throughout the runtime. However, all this is so artfully executed and to such a great effect that a familiarity with this lineage is not required and, moreover, the film still has much to offer those that are.
As it seems to be the case these days, horror movies without the tiresome jump-scares or which don't regurgitate haunted houses, creepy kids, or possessed girls get a lot of abuse from certain sections of the horror audience. If you like those tropes, avoid 'It Follows'. If you like fresh, daring, and thoughtful horror which lingers long after the film ends, watch it. Now!
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