A young woman is followed by an unknown supernatural force after a sexual encounter.A young woman is followed by an unknown supernatural force after a sexual encounter.A young woman is followed by an unknown supernatural force after a sexual encounter.
Jay (Maika Monroe) is a high school girl who goes on a date that ends with a seemingly innocent sexual encounter. Soon after she finds herself being followed by a supernatural entity. She must find a way to escape this curse before it leads to her death. It Follows, is not the typical horror movie that depends on jump scares. Instead it uses a combination of atmosphere and soundtrack to deliver some really intense and chilling visuals. This is not a movie for everyone, with a fair share of weirdness that might put off certain viewers. On the other hand, the unique tone, sound design and visuals, caters to people who are aching for an original film in the horror genre.
One of my favorite genres of film is horror, but I'm not blind to the fact that this genre is filled with movies of poor quality. Just look at last year with horrible releases such as Annabelle and Ouija. Then again when there is a good horror movie like Babadook, it can induce a roller-coaster of emotional reactions. I had high expectations for It Follows and personally it surpassed it.
When it comes to these films I prefer to be frightened by the things I can't see, playing off of the psychological terror of the characters. That was very well done by Maika Monroe as the lead. Quite frequently horrors have the dumb blonde who sleeps around, a cheap cliché that easily fits this premise. However, Monroe's character was more than this typical cliché. She's just an average teenage girl who happens to be a victim of unfortunate circumstances. You see how conflicted she is on how to handle this curse, whether to pass it on, involve her friends, or simply give up. Another horror cliché that is turned on its head is the topic of sex. Most of the time sex scenes are just added in scary films to attract a certain type of audience, but in It Follows sex is an integral part of the story. There is something deeply terrifying about being haunted for a very personal act. A supernatural entity infringing upon your most private moments is disturbing to say the least. Suffice to say It Follows is a horrible date movie.
Jump scares in scary movies are like shaky cams in action films, I absolutely hate them. The reason why I hate jump scares so much is because it diffuses all the built up tension in a scene, forcing that build up to start all over again. Thankfully I can only remember one time when It Follows used that trick. Rest of the time it was the atmosphere and the soundtrack that sent chills down my spine. Even when there was nothing happening the 80's synth music kept up that level of intensity. I also really liked the cinematography of the movie. From the very first scene with a fixed rotating camera, you know you are in for a very distinctive cinematic look. That distinct look is also there with the setting of the movie. You don't really know in which era this movie takes place. The characters will be watching black and white cheap sci- fi's on a bulky CRT TV while at the same time using an e-book to read off poetry. It's these little things that bring almost a fantastical element to the story, making the supernatural aspect fit perfectly into this world.
With all that said the big question is, was it scary? I'd say yes, because I was noticing every person that passed by me on the street while I biked back home in the night at almost 1:30am. I'd only caution that you be aware of the different tone of the movie, because if you are not expecting that (like my friend didn't) it can be jarring at first. In the end even if you happen to not like the movie it'd be hard to deny the originality of the movie. I loved It Follows for being totally weird while still being interesting and intense.
Check out more on my movie review blog The Stub Collector: http://thestubcollector.wordpress.com/
- Apr 19, 2015