Jay (Maika Monroe) is just your normal young woman embarking on a new relationship, she couldn’t be happier, until that is one night of passion in the back of her boyfriend’s car when her whole world dramatically falls apart.
It soon unfolds that this sexual encounter was all a just a set up to pass on a horrifying entity that follows her around, taking on the form of disturbing visions. Jay needs to decide whether she can keep running to save her life or sleep with someone in order to pass on this thing of horror and let it be someone else’s problem.
It’s not hard not to pre-judge this film, It’s just another teen horror I hear some of you cry, it’s bound to have that old tired storyline which quite frankly has nothing remotely scary or new about it. If you do say that then be prepared to eat your words. It’s quite refreshing to see a horror which gives that much needed injection of life to a genre which really should be put to bed.
IT Follows has many highly sexually charged scenes throughout most of this film, whilst quite a few horror films in the past touch on the subject of ‘if you have sex it means your impending death’, Director David Robert Mitchell, decides to put his own unique spin on it, even though the opening scene consists of some poor girl being hideously murdered on the beach, the rest of the film doesn’t exactly pan out that way. Sex this time is used both as a catalyst to attract the danger but also the character’s get out of jail free card. Adding this simple yet effective twist adds a whole new dynamic.
The setting of each scene is pretty perfect to create that eerie ambience too, The lighting is gloomy but not too dark making it feel like something is always about to happen, it even has that 80’s horror feel at times, you know from the era that horror was still quiet credible, even the street scenes, no one ever seems to be about but you have that feeling that something is about to jump out and scare the hell out of you. That never quite happens though.
One criticism is it is an extremely slow burner, there is absolutely no real urgency to its whole demeanour, and the scares are subtly with only a small, and I mean really small, handful of jump out of your skin moments, making you question can this really be classed as a horror or simply just a thriller? Another criticism is the ending; it’s another one of those films that give you no closure, it leaves you wondering what happens next, whilst this is good for the filmmakers as you leave the cinema still thinking about it, it can be damn frustrating.
Maika Monroe in the lead is certainly a little star in the making, not only has she already starred alongside the likes of Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet in Labor Day and Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron in At Any Price already but starred in The Guest last year, could she be the new queen of the big screen screams? Her performance is certainly convincing, it’s very easy to overact in these films but she seems to effortlessly take it all in her stride, going from a timid slightly vulnerable girl into a fighting, confident “don’t f**k with me” woman.
IT Follows is a horror for the new generation, each scene has that ominous foreboding which keeps you constantly on the edge of your seat, spooky enough to keep a chill in your bones and certainly lingers with you long after you’ve finished watching.