Indie-Horror Week: It Follows

It Follows tells the story of Jay, a teen who inherits a bizarre sexually transmitted curse. Soon after, a shape-shifting entity begins following her. The only rule is either pass it on by having sex with someone else or keep running.

This movie is definitive proof that sometimes the scariest concepts are the simplest ones. How many of us have that same nightmare where something we can’t explain is following us, and no matter how fast we run we feel we can never escape? Tie in the adolescent fear of growing up and having sex and ta-da! You have It Follows.

I read somewhere that the concept for the film did come from personal nightmares of the director, David Robert Mitchell, and so he filmed it to read like a dream. A lot of things are very vague, like the actual ages of the kids and the era in which it takes place. This adds to the overall atmosphere of the film and I think it really enhances the overall creepiness.

As for the scare factor, I’m fifty/fifty. I really think the concept and the execution are really interesting and original. There are some actually fantastic scares that land hard, and the overall theme of fighting something that only you can see is always creepy no matter what. There are some aspects that don’t really make sense to me. Like if “It” can be anyone, even people you know, why wouldn’t it use that more often. Why would it choose random (usually naked) people? It used the person you know thing like one time. That seems like a pretty good tactic that is going vastly unused. Also why all the nudity? I didn’t really get the point of it except for basic shock factor. I think that would typically give away the surprise. Like at least try and fit in “It”, at least try.

Still, overall it is a really interesting and unique take on a horror film. The tension that naturally builds when you know you are constantly being followed is palpable throughout the story. It’s just a naturally scary premise that the director used to its full effect. It’s dark, gritty, and sometimes over-the-top with imagery. In the end, it really is a fantastic horror film that draws heavy inspiration from the slow stalking of Halloween and the small town inescapability of Nightmare on Elm Street.

Personally, I always viewed this film as a symbolic take on growing up before you’re ready, and having your decisions literally follow you around your whole life, always having the potential to return when you least expect it. There are a lot of scenes that deal with the concept of growing up and getting older, and viewing the film through that lens offers a potentially new and deeper take on a pretty simple story.

Amy’s Recommendation: 8/10

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