It Follows (2015)

April 5, 2015

Starring: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi, Lili Sepe
Director: David Robert Mitchell

Bottom Line: It Follows is hands down the best horror movie I’ve seen in a movie theater in many a year. That’s partly because I’ve been mostly skipping horror movies for the past decade, but mostly because it was very good. The concept is unique – a curse is passed on via intercourse and the monster follows that person until it kills them or they pass the curse on to someone else, but if that person dies, the monster follows the previous again. The film gets most of its scares out of building tension and the fact that literally anyone could be a potential threat – the monster has the ability to look like anyone, including friends and family, so any person in the background shot is worth keeping an eye on. It’s admittedly creepy and plenty fun.

It Follows benefits from the fact that everyone involved seems to be taking things seriously. Often in horror movies the actors seem to be playing caricatures of people rather than actual human beings, but the kids in It Follows feel like genuine teens and, although they occasionally make questionable decisions, they don’t come across gregariously dumb. Maika Monroe, who plays Jay, the girl with the curse, is especially good and this movie should propel her to future stardom. While her acting range remains to be seen, she certainly can crush the horror genre and I’m looking forward to whatever she does next.

It Follows is essentially director David Robert Mitchell’s debut film and he will be another name to look out for. It Follows is one of the more original horror films to come out in years and Mitchell deserves all of the credit as writer and director. The monster is scary and quite a bit ambiguous – everything is pretty mysterious here. Mitchell also creates plenty of tension through his wide lens shots and a score so prominent it might as well be part of the cast. It Follows takes a big cue from John Carpenter’s Halloween, relying on small scares, music, and a slow, methodical threat.

I thought this movie was great. It’s everything you’re looking for in a scary movie and it delivers on all levels. It Follows is the first must see film of 2015 and has potential to be a classic in the horror genre.

Replay Value: I think this will be good over multiple viewings.
Sequel Potential: There is a lot left to be explored here – it’s perfectly set up for both sequels and prequels.
Oscar Potential: I would say no.

Grade: 7.5/10 (Must See/Excellent)

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