Warning: Some Spoilers Ahead
From the beginning of writer/director David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows- which opens with a tracking shot following a frightened teenage girl as she’s running from an unseen...someone?...something?- you know you’re in very capable hands. I was genuinely hooked from the beginning; and while I wish the film explored its concept a further and threw a few more narrative curveballs, as a piece of filmmaking It Follows is well worth any discerning horror movie fan’s time.
Our main character is 19-year old Jay (The Guest’s Maika Monroe). She has been dating Hugh (Jake Weary). After they have sex one night, Hugh chloroforms Jay. Hugh then reveals he has passed on to her a curse: an entity that can take the form of anyone- whether it’s someone you know or a complete stranger- which only someone with the curse can see. The entity will keep following you until it kills you. Jay eventually enlists the help of her sister- Kelly (Lili Sepe)- and her friends- Paul (Keir Gilchrist), Yara (Olivia Luccardi), and Greg (Daniel Zovatto)- to help her defeat the entity before it kills her.
I do wish the film travelled a different narrative path as it headed towards its climax. Instead it settles in to a more conventional type of climax. I also wish the film’s ending had a little more punch- though I understand that Mitchell likely wanted a subdued final note. Despite these few disappointments, on its own terms, It Follows is an absorbing and effectively spooky horror film, full of unsettling and beautiful images- as well as a star-making performance by Monroe. If you’re a horror fan, seek this one out.