It… What is it? Not knowing what it is or what form it will take next time you encounter it is truly terrifying. What are its motivations? Seemingly existing for the singular purpose of killing those unfortunate enough to find themselves cursed, its true reason for being is never divulged. The very idea that it is real isn’t even fully accepted by those around the cursed. They see a paranoid and possibly mentally deranged individual that is creating a horrific scenario all inside their own mind. The idea of never feeling at ease; that something is behind you, something malevolent and always in pursuit of its victims is unnerving. It brings up irrational thoughts of those walking behind you on a public sidewalk. Often times the most frightening elements of a horror film are things taken from the real world and injected into a truly bizarre plot.
What I am finding as of late with horror films that I’m drawn to, the less is more approach really speaks to me. The less I see the more my imagination takes off. Nothing they place on the screen will ever be as petrifying as the things in a person’s mind. This film utilizes that fact so proficiently and effortlessly creating a completely unsettling and unrelenting psychological horror thriller. It takes the idea of those we love most turning on us and gives it an almost supernatural, otherworldly twist. To close in on its victims it often takes shape of someone closest to that particular unfortunate soul. If your mother was knocking on the door, you would open it for her right? That’s when it strikes. When guards are down and a breath of ease is released, it attacks. It’s slow but always on the move; never stopping and never to be reasoned with. To take something head on that has no discerning reason for its actions is confounding and chilling.
Jay is a normal young woman enjoying her youth. After a night of promiscuity her life is taken from her and in return she is given a nightmare that she is unable to awaken from. Simply told to never let it near her and if possible pass it on to the next partner she chooses to lie with; she is left confused and frozen with fear as seemingly innocuous people begin perusing her with no clear motive. They are often tattered, dirty, and even completely naked they, it, close in. Knowing that if it gets her she is dead, she runs without any end in sight. One dreadful moment seeps and drains into the next creating something she can flee from but never hide from. Able to take many forms, there is no telling when or how it will appear. Just know that it will come.
The tension created near the start of the film is almost always present in some way. The idea of something out to get them always being out there and always after them in any form it chooses creates a constant state of unease for the audience. Something as simple as someone walking behind these characters is extremely unsettling. Certain angles the camera will be shooting from create a void big enough for something to hide in and potentially be closing in from. A big part of that unease is also thanks in large part to the music. Rooted firmly in the 80’s horror genre, the music is made to match. The musical score is an entity of fright all its own making already terrifying moments ever more so. It creates anticipation of what’s to come although never revealing exactly when it will happen. The idea of never knowing what or when is a large part of what makes It Follows so unique, reminiscent, and always bone-chilling. A movie that not only expects more from its audience it also operates under the assumption that you are following along. No spoon feeding story details, no revealing useless information to simply make the audience feel better. It is as ambiguous as it is most definitely a future horror classic.
This is not for the mainstream audience. If you love movies filled with jump scares and mindless, incoherent storytelling such as Ouija, Deliver Us from Evil and Annabelle then It Follows is most certainly not for you. If you hated the truly breathtaking horror thriller, The Babadook you will hate It Follows. But if you love thought provoking, slow-burning horror thrillers with a heavy 80s influence you will adore this film. I would say give it a chance, you might be surprised; just don’t be shocked if you hate it. I wanted to watch this film again as soon as it was over. It grabbed and pulled me in and showed me masterful filmmaking in nearly every aspect imaginable. It scared me, unnerved me, and most importantly, it showed me that horror is far from dead. There are people out there that care about this genre and want nothing more than for it to thrive and flourish. The only way it can is by word of mouth. Advertising can only do so much; the audience must take over and spread the hype. I can assure you, the hype for It Follows is very much lived up to. Will you follow?
Rated R For: disturbing violent and sexual content including graphic nudity, and language
Run Time: 100 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Starring: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi
Directed By: David Robert Mitchell
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 4.5/ Acting: 4/ Directing: 5/ Visuals: 5
OVERALL: 5 Nerdskulls
Check out the trailer below:
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