Monday, March 30, 2015

Movie Review #237: "It Follows" (2014)

Movie"It Follows"
Ticket Price: $12.50
Director: David Robert Mitchell
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Image Source
Jay Height (Maika Monroe) is your average college student. Lately, she has been seeing a guy named Hugh (Jake Weary). One night after a date, Jay decides to have sex with Hugh. After they finish, Hugh tells Jay he has passed something onto her, something that has been chasing him, and from now on, it will follow her relentlessly wherever she goes. She has two options: either pass it on to someone else by having sex with them, or be killed if the entity ever catches her. 

When the advertising campaign for a movie claims it's "the best horror movie in decades," you damn well better believe we're going to obsessively look for it to come to town. When we saw our local theater got "It Follows," we were stoked! Reading as little as possible about it so we wouldn't be spoiled, we can now say "It Follows" is a truly unnerving horror film. It's not often that we get spooked, especially now in a world saturated with mediocre, jump-scare infested stinkers, but this movie is really, really good at making you feel unsettled. It's not really gory, but it has an amazing ambiance to it from the get go. It doesn't rely on only simple jump-scares to startle audiences, but rather really tries to create a creepy and alarming feel. The concept of an unstoppable persistent pursuer following you wherever you go, and knowing if it catches you that you are as good as dead, can really freak you out. If you're like me and get scared at the slightest noise in the night, panic begins to set in within the first few moments of the movie. You're most certainly going to be spooked, especially considering there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop this constant entity watching and following your every move. Only those that have been infected through sex can see this being and it can appear in pretty much whatever form it likes. It mainly appears as friends or family or loved ones or strangers, but no matter which form it takes, it is always walking directly at, behind or near its target, never straying from the path. Though this being's, well, being, is never fully disclosed, the audience is made to infer what it is and why it's there, stalking and praying on its victims.

One of the strongest elements of this film comes from its soundtrack. WOW, we have not heard such an incredible soundtrack, especially from a horror film, in a long, long time. It has an amazing kind of synth-rock score that creates, as well as enhances, the already eerie mood. Whenever you hear it, whether it starts out slow and begins to grow with impending danger, or whether it's blaring directly in your ears off the bat, it makes this distressing and frenetic energy with a very palpable feeling of fear. It's very reminiscent of the type of music used in the original "Halloween." In fact, much of the film's look could be compared to "Halloween" and reminded us of it quite a lot. The way it's shot is almost an homage to the John Carpenter-esque 70's and 80's horror films. Between some really splendid tight shots, other excellent first person perspectives, and some crazy close-up camera work, this movie really has the makings of a true horror great. There are hints throughout its run time that it takes place in present day Detroit, but many of its elements look quite retro, from its character's clothing choices to the cars they drive and some of the language that's used. This ambiguity of its time period goes hand in hand with the enigmatic nature and themes of the movie as a whole. It takes a lot of risks and chances as far as liberties are concerned as a lot of its major plot points are left up to the audience to decipher on its own. We believe there are a lot of people out there who will not like "It Follows" because it might be seen as too ambiguous. Its allegorical implications of STDs alone will be enough to put some people off. Though its cryptic nature will trouble some viewers, we welcome this film with open arms because it is so different from other horror movies out there today. In the same vein as "The Babadook," what we have here is more of a psychologically thrilling horror flick wrought with spine-tingles, times when you will have your eyes wide opened from being unnerved and some deeply disturbing imagery. It might seem a little slow during some parts, and though it's not the best horror movie we have ever seen or even as good as its marketing might have you believe, it's still pretty damn excellent, especially for horror fans. Just make sure you keep looking over your shoulder when you exit the theater.

My Rating: 8/10
BigJ's Rating: 8/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 95%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!


  1. This sounds crazy spooky. I haven't watched a horror film since "The Hills Have Eyes." But you have me wanting to check this out... Maybe when it comes to Netflix.

    1. It IS spooky! Beyond maybe one or two scenes, there isn't a whole lot of blood. The horror movies that are the scariest are often the ambiguous ones like this, ones that make you think or don't disclose all the information. Yes, I highly suggest you catch this one on netflix! :)