“It Follows” Review

There’s nothing like young and in love. Before you can go on a date you have to pick the right clothes, the right songs, and the right person.

Jay did not pick the right person and it’s going to haunt her for a long time.

The supposedly good guy passed something on to Jay after their steamy rendezvous in his car, something evil and it will follow Jay no matter where she goes. The idea of a sexually transmitted curse is pretty terrifying (and an interesting metaphor for STDs in general) but in order to stand out from all the cheap “pretty teens stalked by supernatural forces” movies a film has to be something special and It Follows is definitely that. The movie gives audiences a cast of teen characters that they can actually root for, something lacking in most movies involving teens,  and here we have five of them all unified in protecting Jay from her unrelenting stalker. These characters feel like kids you know or maybe the kind you were while growing up; they make dumb choices but they’re honest and they actually care about one another like true friends. The film also has some of the best executed scares in recent years because there are no sudden jerks of the camera allowing the horror to fill up the screen, slowly and unrelentingly, and while this film is not a gorefest the violence on display is shocking and very disturbing, especially in the case of one important death.

Weaving together these scenes of chest-tightening horror and teenage introspection is one of the best soundtracks in recent years, much like a sinister version of Drive‘s dreamy 80’s synth score, and the theme is sure to be stuck in your head for days. In fact the whole film exists in a dark pool of nostalgia for the 80’s from all the station wagons to the vintage clothing; it’s a love letter to slasher films of old like A Nightmare On Elm Street but is original enough to be more than just a simple homage.  It Follows has been steadily building up a buzz as one of the scariest and most original horror movies in recent times, achieving critical acclaim from even mainstream press, and it is definitely worth all of those plaudits. Director David Robert Mitchell already proved he knew how to handle a young cast with his little seen 2010 indie darling The Myth of the American Sleepover and now he shows us all that he gets what scares us. It Follows has thankfully been bumped up from its original opening run of only a handful of cities to a wide release so now everyone can experience this modern American horror masterpiece.


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