Jay Height (Maikia Monroe) is a young, pretty college girl on a second date with this guy called Hugh (Jake Weary). The couple have sex but something is passed to Jay and the only way to rid herself of the curse is to have sex with somebody else. Easy enough, especially if you're as pretty as Maikia Monroe's Jay. In fact even if you're a guy as ugly as sin it's easy as you could fork out a bit of money and hire an escort. However, passing on the curse doesn't rid you entirely of it. If the person you passed the curse on to dies, you are target of evil entity and process will commence once again.
It has always been the case that the Horror genre often used loud sound effects to create scares, this technique has been used as far back as Val Luton's 1942 film Cat People. Films like Insidious are known for these types of scares but these types of horror films also bring about a degree of professionalism to a genre often viewed at bottom of the barrel. You still do get loads of utter tosh, but the major releases may not always be good but are never badly made.
Still it's refreshing to get a horror film that doesn't not rely on such cheap tactics and It Follows is one these films. Much like The Babadook, It Follows is a thematically rich(is it a film about inescapable effects of STDs?) and character driven horror film that is powered by not only the film's themes, but an unnerving atmosphere and creepy imagery.
It Follows is going to be a film that will most likely find its place amongst the true fans of the genre, the film isn't startling, jumpy (so it may not find a place in the mainstream horror crowd) or even that terrifying but is certainly one the most unsettling and even unique horror films of the past decade. The slowness of the plot allows director David Robert Mitchell to build a greatly disturbing atmosphere and the sustained dread is masterfully maintained as the film successfully manages to make the everyday sight of passerby be a potentially threatening one.
Mike Gioulakis' cinematography is excellent, and the framing is superb (the first scene is incredible) as Gioulakis makes It Follows a wonderful visual treat. Horror films from the 70s and 80s (particularly Halloween whose suburban streets bare a strong similarity to those in It Follows) are clearly highly influential to David Mitchell's film and the pulsating and scintillating synthesizer soundtrack also harks back to the same era.
It Follows is very much a slow burner, the film's slow pace may be off putting to some (it is a bit slow in places) and the film's abandons its uniqueness in a rather silly and more traditional confrontational finale. However, the performance of Maikia Monroe, the brilliance of Mitchell's original idea and sense dread maintained throughout make It Follows a great addition to modern 21st century horror. A worthy watch for those in love with the genre.
It Follows could be a film about the shame and judgemental attitudes that follow anyone around with STD. It's a thematically rich film but never forgets to be a deeply chilling one.