Movie Review: It Follows

It Follows

Release Date: March 27th 2015
Running Time: 100 minutes
MPAA Rating: Rated R for disturbing violent and sexual content including graphic nudity, and language
Genres: Thriler | Drama | Horror
Director: David Robert Mitchell
Cast: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi

Official Sites: Web | IMDb
For 19-year-old Jay (Monroe), the fall should be about school, boys and weekends at the lake. Yet, after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter she suddenly finds herself plagued by nightmarish visions; she can't shake the sensation that someone, or something, is following her. As the threat closes in, Jay and her friends must somehow escape the horrors that are only a few steps behind. With a riveting central performance from Monroe and a strikingly ominous electronic score by Disasterpeace, IT FOLLOWS took the 2014 Cannes Film Festival by storm and will be released by RADiUS in the Winter of 2015.

It Follows a retro-style horror film written and directed by David Robert Mitchell. The film stars Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist and Jake Weary as young twenty-somethings who are haunted and pursued by what can only be described as a sexually-transmitted killer curse. Are you hooked yet? Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?

The film means business. It opens with a super creepy musical score and a pursuit scene and gets scarier from there. I don’t watch many horror films. I don’t like to be scared in a dark roomful of strangers. And I confess that I watched most of the movie behind the comfort of my sunglasses. I can’t explain why, but it made me feel safer. That said, I think anyone who enjoys horror movies is going to really like It Follows.

Even as frightened as I was, I loved the retro vibe of the film. The retro vibe is delivered via the film’s 1980’s style, synthesized, musical score. I think the musical score was the best part of the movie. I would compare it to the musical score of Jaws or the original Friday the 13th, where the changing music may or may not mean that something horrible is about to happen so that the audience is frightened during the entire movie.

It was interesting that as much as the film feels retro, it does so with a forward-thinking plot. In classic horror films, something bad happens and all the characters split-up. For years, I have been yelling at the screen, “Don’t split up! Something bad always happens when you split up!” If you’ve been thinking the same thing, you will enjoy that, for once, everyone doesn’t immediately head for the hills in separate directions. There are a few other examples that I could point to where the characters try something different from the usual run and hide approach of horror films, but I want you to discover those for yourself.

I think this film is trying to be terrifying and smart and it succeeded on both of the goals. There were a few times when I thought it could be better, but not by much. I mean, these people are being pursued by slow-moving apparitions intending to kill their prey, and few of the characters ever bother to look behind them. But, really, that just gives me a new reason to yell at the screen, “Turn around!”

If you love horror movies that linger in your mind on the way to the parking lot and have you double-checking that the house locks are secure, you will really enjoy It Follows. Maybe that was just my experience. See whether you think this film is as scary as I think it is when It Follows opened in wide distribution on March 27. And don’t forget to look behind you.

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