starring Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Lucaardi and Lili Sepe
written and directed by David Robert Mitchell
A demon, a succubus, some kind of supernatural entity which is never explained is following cursed teenagers around. Only the person being followed can see “it,” so when they run away in fear in public places everyone who sees them doesn’t understand what’s happening. The entity moves only at a very slow pace, always walking. But it never stops, so if you run away you can be sure that it’s still following you and your safety is only temporary. If the entity catches you and touches you then you will die.
The entity is passed from one cursed person to another through sex. If you have sex with someone then presumably you are safe because you’ve passed the curse along. Of course, this is an old feature of horror/thriller movies: the sin factor. Only virgins survive. It Follows tells the story of one girl, Monroe, who uses her friends to fight It. But It can’t be killed.
The sin factor: only virgins survive.
Being able to see the entity coming doesn’t save anyone. The fact that it is relentless destroys people’s lives because they have to be permanently on guard. No sleeping, no resting in one place too long, avoiding close spaces and always being sure you have a clear path out of any room, make sure you always have a 360° field of vision. It’s like the stress of taking care of a baby or toddler: it only takes a moment of inattention for disaster to occur.
This was a nicely creepy movie, but it could have been a lot creepier. “It” is not explained. What is it, exactly, and where did it come from? I usually don’t go in for horror or thriller movies, but when I do I expect to be frightened. It Follows didn’t scare me, it only creeped me a little. But I thought the idea was good (and creepy). The film was shot in Detroit, Michigan and it featured some of that city’s famously abandoned neighborhoods.
One thing I especially want to note is this: the opening shot of the film showed a city street and then the camera panned back revealing the houses, trees, etc. I looked at it three times and I thought, “What the fuck?” because it looked exactly like the street that I grew up on in Canada. That similarity dissolved, however, as soon as the camera passed the fourth house. But for the first three houses I felt really uncomfortable.