In It Follows, Jay (Maika Monroe) finds herself being followed by a malevolent supernatural entity that was passed on to her through sex from her boyfriend. Now, Jay and her friends must find a way to defeat this entity without endangering anyone else from its curse.
It Follows is written and directed by David Robert Mitchell. Mitchell excels in creating a creepy horror thriller. He makes great use of this concept where this mysterious entity simply follows its victims at a leisurely pace. There is some mythology built around it as well with some rules. For example only the victim is able to see the demon. As a result, Mitchell builds some great suspenseful moments where the demon is not shown to the audience. That is what makes this film so great, and stand far above the recent horror releases. Where films like Annabelle and Ouija use cheap jump scares, It Follows uses genuine tension and suspense to create scary moments. The film is also a very well made and well shot horror film. The cinematography by Mike Gioulakis is gorgeous and gives the film a very appealing visual aesthetic.
Mitchell pays a lot of homage to classic horror films. It Follows conveys a late ‘70s/early ‘80s vibe. Some of the suburban shots seemed like they were ripped straight out of John Carpenter’s Halloween. The soundtrack by Disasterpeace is brilliant. With heavy uses of a synthesizer, the soundtrack adds to the ‘80s feel of the film. It is also really effective in capturing the tension of certain moments. Right from the opening sequence, audiences will feel the impact of the soundtrack. The synth soundtrack is being used in more and more films now such as Drive, Cold in July, and The Guest. It is great to see this type of soundtrack used more.
Maika Monroe makes for a great casting choice in the lead role. As Jay, she is a character audiences will connect with and become invested in. As a result, she makes for a great horror heroine, because once audiences are invested in the character they will care about her. This adds even more tension to the suspenseful sequences. In many of the scary sequences we do not see the entity, therefore we must rely on Monroe’s expressions to sell us on the threat of this entity. Monroe does an excellent job in these situations, and accurately conveys the character’s fears.
The supporting characters are not really developed all that well. It is understandable that the focus of the story is on Jay, but some more development on the supporting characters could have made them more memorable. There are some moments in the film that begin to drag, that negatively affect the pacing of the film.
Overall, It Follows uses a creative concept and genuine suspense to create a truly haunting experience, resulting in one of the better recent horror films to be released. The lack of cheap jump scares is refreshing. If you are someone who has been disappointed by all of the recent horror films, then this film is a must-watch. With It Follows, director David Robert Mitchell shows how horror is done right.