It Follows (Sundance 2015)

28 Mar

Playing in the Sundance Film Festival‘s Midnight selection after it premiered in the Cannes Film Festival’s Critic’s Week, It Follows provides audiences with effective thrills in the form of a morality fable. Indie newcomer Maika Monroe stars in this sex-themed horrorshow as Jay, a high school graduate preparing for college in the fall. After a recent sexual encounter with a new date Hugh (Jake Weary), Jay begins to suspect that some sort of paranormal entity is following her, and she soon learns about the one STI not found in your standard health textbook. Like some sort of supernatural STI, a mysterious curse begins following you (quite literally following you) around after you have sex with another infected host, and will only subside after passing the curse along to another victim.

Despite it’s silly premise, It Follows is a very skillfully crafted and creepy teen horror. Taking influences from teen slashers like Halloween to suburbian melodramas like Donnie Darkothe film has a unique atmosphere that is perfectly reflected in its outstanding cinematography (the film’s opening shot of a 360 panorama is sure to infect paranoia from the onslaught), and a killer soundtrack from electronic outfit Disasterpeace. Not nearly as scary (or sexy) as it would seem, the horror derives from the talented crew of mostly-unknown actors who convince us there is a real unknown presence to be afraid of. This is a concept thriller that rides heavily on one’s suspension of disbelief to make impact. Though there is a lot of skill on display here (especially with the direction and cinematography again) the story itself wears a little thin, and relies too much on the film’s tone to carry the suspense.

Bottom Line: Though it might play a little too juvenile for some, It Follows is a fun ride into horror territory and should sit extremely well with genre fans and the teenage crowd.

Rating: 6/10 

Film Recipe: an M83 Music Video + You’re Next! (2011) + In Fear (2013) + Nightmare on Elm Street


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