Bringing a new sense of horror to the genre, David Robert Mitchell’s freshest production It Follows provokes both thought and terror. A young woman’s sexual encounter with a seemingly normal boy is soon turned into an unreal nightmare as she is told that he has passed it onto her-and it will follow her until she passes it on. It can be a complete stranger or someone she loves dearly. Her only way to survive is to run away from it and not let it touch her. The worst part of this curse is that only she can see it, and only she can get rid of it.
Let’s start with the negatives.
From my initial viewing and understanding, it was based in modern day, although the entire set throughout the movie was blatantly retro, either 70s or 80s. All of the cast are dressed in vintage looking clothes (and very stylishly with that.) The decor was vintage, the televisions were in black and white, as well as wooden and clunky. I didn’t see a single cell phone used during the movie, only a corded house phone. The one thing that makes this an issue is the fact that one of the main characters was constantly using an e-reader device, like a Kindle. It was literally the only modern piece of technology in the entire movie, from what I can recall right now. I mean, even the blankets the kids used were crocheted and orange, not fleece and mint- chevron patterned. I’m highly confused on this aspect, simply because that e-reader was so painfully obvious, even panning the camera to read from the character’s POV. I really enjoyed the vintage atmosphere, just not this wrench in the cog.
Another scene also irritates my logic but it may be a spoiler. **ALERT SPOILERS MAYBE** In a critical scene, the group of kids set up shop at an abandoned school/YMCA type building, into the pool area. I thought it was abandoned judging by the run down look of the building but when they entered the pool room, the pool is filled and sparkling blue. This didn’t make sense to me. Any explanations?
In the opening scene, we see a scared teenage girl running for her life in a pair of high heels. This didn’t seem practical to me, and probably not the rest of the audience, but from reading interviews by the cast and director, Mitchell wanted her to be wearing heels to pay tribute to this horror cliche. Makes sense in that sense, but not practical in real life.
Speaking of tributes, I feel like this isn’t the only one. In the scene were Jay is trying to call Greg, who happens to live across the street from her, but he’s asleep and in danger, instantly reminds me of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Am I right?
And onto the positives.
It was scary! It made me jump, it made me cover my eyes and dread the next scene, and it creeped me out. Better yet, it haunted me after I saw it, causing me to be more than a little freaked out when I arrived home by myself. The message obviously revolves around sexuality but there are so many possible meanings because of the amount of sexuality within it. Whenever it appeared, it was usually naked or half naked- sometimes even resembling a sexual assault victim by the battered look of them. Very deep and provocative, and one hell of a PSA for sexually transmitted diseases.
The soundtrack was fantastic. Almost but not quite video game sounds but definitely 80s inspired. It didn’t need to be deafening loud to be eerie and intense, the music itself was creepy and weird. It worked perfectly for the entire film.
Special effects makeup was done by veteran Robert Kurtzman’s studio, although there wasn’t an over abundance of gore within the film. It didn’t need it honestly because the slowly walking and hard staring figures of it were enough to make my heart race.
I’m very pleased with this horror flick and I do sincerely hope it finds a rightful place as one of the best horror movies. Ever.