A terrific atmosphere is just the beginning of what makes David Robert Mitchell’s highly acclaimed indie piece “It Follows” a superb and must see horror film.
With a setting drenched in fall foliage, creepy imagery, and robust colors like the filtering of a photo on Instagram, “It Follows” includes other forms of confusing elements and a chilling plot to put the viewer on edge as they watch.
“This thing is going to follow you.” A young man explains to a distraught Jaime (Maika Monroe) as he describes a curse that he has just passed along to her. “It can look like someone you know, or a stranger. It appears out of nowhere. It’s slow but not dumb. Never be in a place with only one exit.”
The film then proceeds to follow (pun intended) Jaime over the course of several days as she deals with the horror of the curse; revealed as a slowly plodding but haunting entity in the guise of various people that can’t be stopped or killed, stalking her endlessly with no apparent motive or reason other than reaching her and ending her life.
Maika Monroe does a perfect job in portraying the young college student Jaime – nicknamed Jay by her friends. She’s a thoroughly likeable character; close to her older sister, envied by a less attractive friend, crushed on by the teen boys in the neighborhood.
Maika Monroe places the viewer right along side of her as she and her friends search fruitlessly for a way out of the curse, encountering the entity in truly frightening ways at various times throughout. Once the titular It begins coming for Jaime, she can’t sleep or relax. That the monster walks slowly but never stops is original and perfect – and nothing could be scarier.
The story itself is a thing of horror beauty. David Robert Mitchell does a masterful job of creating a malaise across the film, with anachronistic background props, off centered camera angles, bizarre conversations, and subtle imagery that keeps the viewer guessing at all times.
In a fashion similar to the horror classic “The Shining” or the oddity “Eraserhead,” “It Follows” includes non-sensible elements that will keep your subconscious mind scrambling from start to finish. The ambiguous nature of the demonic entity adds to the mystery, and its constant and consistent slow approach and seemingly never ending lust for blood is a marvelous creation for horror.
One particularly creepy and memorable scene shows Jaime in the back of her college classroom gazing out the window and watching as the figure slowly lumbers across the courtyard towards her.
Many scenes are done in such a great way as Jaime is conversing with her friends and the viewer can see the It appear in the distance and begin its staggered lumber towards the group only to have them depart without ever even knowing its there.
“It Follows” is a great horror film than enlists an unusual and original plot with a combination of solid acting and masterful work by the filmmaker and his crew to create a chilling and memorable story.
by – Matt DeCristo