"It Follows" Review

Title: It Follows
Director: David Robert Mitchell
Studio: RADiUS-TWC
Genre(s): Horror
Rated: R (For disturbing violent and sexual content including graphic nudity, and language)

I understand that horror films have essentially become freak shows for drunk college kids who anticipate jumping at stray cats and howling at corny sex scenes, but it is very refreshing to see a movie like “It Follows” and know that somewhere, out there, there are people who understand that horror movies are supposed to actually be scary and make it a priority to deliver a frightening experience.  Here is a movie that doesn’t pretend to be high art nor does it pretend to have anything important to say: It is just here to scare the hell out of you and do so with not a radical concept, but a laughably simple one.  In this film a girl has sex with a boy and inherits a curse where some evil entity is now going to follow her until it kills her.


She can pass the curse along to someone else by having sex with them, at which point the entity will follow that person.  If that person is caught, the entity will then turn around and go to the person previously affected and keep working down the list.  It doesn’t have a consistent look, it can be anyone, and it doesn’t show any other purpose.  The good news for people in this movie is that the entity doesn’t run nor does it really pop out of unsuspecting places: It just follows the person who is cursed.  It follows on foot, and simply walks.  That means driving will buy you some time, but eventually it will catch up with you, and then you need to flee again.

On one hand, this doesn’t sound very exciting or threatening.  The entity moves so slow that our heroin Jay even has plenty of time early on to realize she is being chased in the first place.  Her friends can’t see the entity, but they can certainly feel it during a scene when it catches up with Jay and attacks her.  I’m not sure what the meaning of passing the curse along by having sex means, but it does give Jay a little relief being that, as a girl (and a very attractive one at that), convincing a guy to have sex with her isn’t exactly going to be the most difficult task in the world.  Again, none of this is art, but for what it sets out to do, it is very effective in creating a truly scary experience where we in the audience feel like we are one of the ones being hunted along with these kids.

Though the below grade might not suggest much, “It Follows” may very well be the best horror film I’ve seen in years.  Not since “The Sixth Sense” has a movie about the supernatural caused so much intrigue and discomfort in me.  Sure, that film has a complicated story to hold it together (of which this does not), but I have a feeling it will stand alongside other classics that have been directed by John Carpenter and Wes Craven as a timeless scary movie.  It’s not out to change the world, it’s not out to be anything it’s not, and I highly doubt it will make for a great choice on senior citizens day, but it is great horror that left me with a terrifying tinge after it was over.

Parents, there is obviously going to be lots of scary imagery, violence, and sexual content with this one.  Recommended for ages 17 and up.