Maika Monroe, Jake Weary, Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto
Directed by David Robert Mitchell
The indie-horror film It Follows supplied plenty of suspense with its slow-moving demon. The movie had a hipster feel to it from the setting, the props, and the STD-like curse that spreads from each victim. When Jay (Monroe) takes her date further with a steamy backseat hookup in an abandoned lot she learns she has been infected with a curse: something will follow her until she passes it on. As a shapeshifter it can be anybody and it is noticeable by checking her surroundings for someone walking slowly towards her. Only she and the person who gave this curse to her can see her offender.
Jay is reluctant to pass it on and spends her time running away from it whenever it comes in her sight. As it walks at a slow pace and a straight line for her, it’s not too difficult to get away from. The advice given to her was to make sure she stays in a place with multiple exits. Jay’s support system are her sisters and neighborhood friends who aren’t ready to believe her until they see an invisible force attack her. They try to come up with ways to get rid of it besides the obvious choice of passing it on.
The setting looks like it takes place in the Northern states though it isn’t clear, and neither is the year. The setting looks like it takes place in the 70s from the black and white televisions, to the old cars being driven, and to the lack of technology used (cell phones are rare and computers aren’t mentioned). Yet there is futuristic objects being used, like modern cars in the background and an object her sister uses that looks like a compact mirror but is digitized as she reads The Illiad from it. Whether it’s meant to be the past or a simpler future where people can live happily without computers or Apple products, a good horror film can still come out of it.
Each time the thing following Jay became apparent the build up became intense. It almost always looked like a disturbed person. The music, which was never modern but sounded like it came from a 70s or 80s horror movie, became heavier as the demon came within reach of Jay. What makes the suspense worse is knowing she could get away if she tried since the demon is so slow.
It Follows is a good movie for our time. It does something different with the horror genre that is not normally seen today. Despite its slow pace its intrigue was enough to keep me watching and sometimes with my hands covering my eyes. If you’re looking for a different kind of horror film to watch within the suspense genre, It Follows may just be for you.