From writer / director David Robert Mitchell (“The Myth Of The American Sleepover”) comes this year’s supernatural horror movie “It Follows”.
At the beginning of the film, we witness Annie (Bailey Spry – “Age Of Ice”) fleeing from her home, getting into her car and driving to the beach. Once there she sits in the beam of her car headlights and tells her parents that she loves them via her mobile phone. By morning she is dead – clearly having been murdered.
We then meet 19 year old Michigan college student Jay Height (Maika Monroe – “The Guest”, “The Bling Ring”). Jay goes to the movies with a young man named Hugh (Jake Weary – “Zombeavers”, “Altitude”) where Hugh sees a young woman in the doorway who Jay says that she cannot see. Suddenly and inexplicably Hugh wants to leave the cinema.
Later the pair have sex in Hugh’s car, after which he knocks her out with chloroform. When she comes round Jay finds herself tied to a wheelchair. Hugh tells her that he had been suffering from a curse, which he was passed through sex, and that he has now passed it on to Jay.
The curse means that an entity will pursue her, at a slow walking pace, whilst manifesting itself as a person – “it could look like someone you know or it could be a stranger in a crowd. Whatever helps it get close to you” – and that if the entity catches her it will kill her and go after the person that passed it to her. Hugh, therefore, urges that Jay should pass the curse on to someone else as soon as possible. Only they and others who have received the sexually transmitted curse are able to see the entity.
When Hugh drops Jay off at home she shares the tale with her sister Kelly (Lili Sepe – “Spork”) and her friends Yara (Olivia Luccardi – “The Rewrite”) and Paul (Keir Gilchrist – “Dark Summer”), who rally round to help protect her.
Greg (Daniel Zovatto – “Beneath”), the neighbour across the street, also gets involved which arouses jealousy from Paul, who has long held a flame for Jay. Greg helps the others track Hugh down, and get the whole story from him, following which they drive to Greg’s beachhouse.
Will Jay be able to evade the entity and avoid death, or will she bring herself to pass on the curse by having sex with someone?…
This is an unusual horror film for this day and age. There isn’t bucketloads of gore. There isn’t shedloads of sex and nudity, although obviously, given the way in which the curse is passed on, there is some present. Indeed sex is a recurring theme. Not only through the curse, but as a source of comfort when feeling scared. Nonetheless, there really isn’t anything that I would describe as explicit to be seen here.
The tone of the movie, to me, is more about building a sense of terror through the everyday – sometimes the characters are shown just sitting around – and through silence. The sense of isolation for these teenagers is underlined by the almost total lack of parental figures throughout the film. Added to that, the eerie feel is enhanced by a score which, I thought, harks back to horror films of the 80s with lots of atmospheric synthesizer in use.
If you fancy a slow burn horror movie with a different twist on things, then this film is very definitely worth checking out…