It Follows is the story of Jay. She’s fighting a sexually transmitted curse that plagues its carrier with visions of a shape-shifting stalker who can be found walking towards them no matter how far or long they run.
What is “it” and why does it follow? Well, those questions are never really answered. Audiences are dropped into the story far down the line of carriers; the first patient is unknown, as are the origins of “it”. All that’s made clear is that this creature is a malevolent force that can take the form of someone you know or someone you don’t. It’s all blank stares and blind purpose as it lurches zombie-like towards its target. The only way to get rid of it is to pass it on through sex.
What will strike die-hard horror movie fans is the film’s playing with well-known and much-loved tropes of the genre. The story of promiscuous teens being punished for their wicked ways is an old and successful yarn that pleases audiences time and time again. Then there’s the film’s glitchy soundtrack from Rich Vreeland, who records under the name Disasterpeace, which sounds cherry-picked from an 80s B-movie.
While some might enjoy this, the film does borrow too much from the genre and thus lacks originality to make it stand out. In some cases it stretches too far, including themes that are not really necessary, like the cabin in the woods. What is most successful is the subtlety of the visual storytelling. A general feeling of unease lingers, as director David Robert Mitchell does not point out his monster through use of music or costume design. Physically it’s human and in some scenes it’s obvious that the shape-shifting being could be anyone. This has the audience on the edge of their seats, scanning the background in search of the walking creature.
All in all this is a wonderfully shot horror film, packing a punch in places. It’s sure to please those looking for a solid scary movie.
It Follows is released nationwide on 27th February 2015.
Watch the trailer for It Follows here: