Modern horror often runs the risk of being stale and formulaic. It Follows is not only well-made but it is nightmarish to watch. It is not scary in the most typical sense. There are jump scares here and there but the fear comes from the lingering unease that is almost primal and set up artistically in this film.
College student Jay, played by Maika Monroe, goes on a date with a boy she has been seeing. After having sex, she is chloroformed and wakes up tied to a chair. Her date informs her that he has just passed a curse onto her. An entity will begin to follow her and will kill her if it comes into contact with her. She must have sex with someone else to pass along the curse or keep on the run from this entity.
This movie is beautifully shot. There are creative uses of panoramic lens and 360 degree shots that are astounding. The music is also really unnerving; it creates a sense of unease and dread throughout the entire movie. There are style choices in the costumes that make the movie feel retro and like a throwback to the 80s. At the same time there are futuristic fictional devices that don’t exist currently that could imply that this is the near future.
The acting is incredibly believable. Maika Monroe shines as Jay. Her character transforms from a young woman in her sexual prime to one that is broken, terrified, and bordering insanity. It Follows is certainly a creepy movie but it is not the scariest movie of all time. It is a cerebral movie that will have you talking about it long after the final reel.
The Director/Writer has spoken about how the nature of this entity is more about being in a nightmare you can’t escape. The nightmare aspect can easily be seen in the thematic elements that can easily be worked into the discussion. Things like: STDs, absentee parents, bad boy attraction etc. It Follows is certainly worth watching if you are into more cerebral thrills. Just don’t expect a lot of answers to be given to you. You will need to interpret a lot for yourself. It feels like it took the basic idea of Drag Me To Hell and made it artistic, less gory, and less obvious.