Film Review Horror

'It Follows' Film Review

March 27, 2015Ben MK

Boogey Nights...


What if the boogeyman was real? And what if he was a sexually transmitted disease? Don't laugh, for what may sound like a bizarre premise — plucked straight from the storyline of a forthcoming Scary Movie sequel — is actually treated with the utmost seriousness in It Follows, the second feature from writer/director David Robert Mitchell.

Maika Monroe (last seen opposite Dan Stevens in the playfully subversive action-thriller, The Guest) plays the protagonist here, a teenage suburbanite named Jay, whose decision to sleep with her new boyfriend is met with dire repercussions. No, she doesn't get pregnant or contract an STD. In fact, that would almost be preferable. Instead, she finds herself on the receiving end of a sexually-transmitted hex and is soon forced to outrun a mysterious, shapeshifting assailant — one who won't rest until she's dead.

Of course, there are a few rules to this deadly game of cat and mouse she's unwittingly entered into. But the one that's of paramount importance to her survival is that she must have sex with someone to pass along the curse; otherwise the entity will never stop hounding her. That's easier said than done though, because if the next hapless recipient of the curse dies, the malevolent creature will simply circle back to her.

In spite of the odds, that doesn't stop Jay, her sister, Kelly (Lili Sepe), and their friends (Keir Gilchrist, Bailey Spry and Daniel Zovatto) from attempting to stay one step ahead of her unrelenting, paranormal stalker. And as they do, they're accompanied by a grinding synth score by chiptune composer Rich Vreeland (aka Disasterpeace), intended to evoke the early films of John Carpenter.

Nonetheless, this movie is best described as "Carpenter-lite," as it's heavy on atmosphere, but the promise of its intense and disturbing opening sequence is squandered on later scenes that stretch the narrative to the point of monotony. Still, Monroe is more than just your average scream queen, and after seeing It Follows, moviegoers may never look at sex the same way again.  Ben Mk

* Reviewer's note: Portions of this film review were adapted from my TIFF review of the film, published on September 8th, 2014.

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