It Follows (2014)

itfollows_2014_poster
It Follows (2014)
  • Time: 92 min
  • Genre: Horror
  • Director: David Robert Mitchell
  • Cast: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi

Storyline:

For nineteen-year-old Jay, Autumn should be about school, boys and week-ends out at the lake. But after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter, she finds herself plagued by strange visions and the inescapable sense that someone, something, is following her. Faced with this burden, Jay and her friends must find a way to escape the horrors that seem to be only a few steps behind.

9 reviews

  • Unique. That is the word that first comes to mind after a screening of David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows which has now shown twice to accepting audiences at the 2014 Austin Film Festival

    It Follows is the story about a sex transmitted hauntg. Let me repeat that sentence so that in sinks in a little bit. . The haunt is all too real for teenager Jai (Maika Monroe). After a brief sex encounter with a new boyfriend, Jai is haunted by ghosts that only she can him. Their intentions are not clear, but an opening scene of a disfigured young girl/boy on the beach reveals to the audience that the ghosts are inclined.

    The car that inflicted Jai with the haunting reveals to him and her inner circle that the ghosts will be relentless until they kill Jay. He goes on to disclose that the ghosts can only walk to their prey. So if you can run, drive or speed away from them it might buy you minutes, hours or even days until they catch up. The only way to pass on the haunting is to have sex with another and this torments Jay while intriguing the two male suitors that are part of her friendship ring.

    Whether Jai can pass on the haunting enough so that she herself is safe and whether her friends will play a part in her survival is the crusify of the film that hearts back to the glory years of horror where blood and guts were not paraded out in gore porn glory.

    Director Daved Rob Michal confidently maintains the integrity of the story without the lure of upping the body count for the purpose of appeasing a microwave horror generation that wants its blood and wants it thick.

    In fact, the body count is so lw in It Follows that a leper can count them on one hand. This lack of blood and guts however only adds to the atmosphere that is thick and complimented by one of the best musical scores for a horror film that we have relished since the early John Carpenter years.

    The idea is truly original and its executio is brillian in its simply. An experime which attempts to destroy the ghost reminded us slightly of 1981’s The Entity (in which Barbara Hershey was raped by a sex abusive spirit) but It Follows maintains its originality to the end.

    In a Hollywoood world where horror films are stereotypy deformed serial killers who randomly kil high school students on the brink of sex revelation, It Follows is a breath of fresh air that is worthy of a high recommendation. Unique indeed.

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  • (Rating: ☆☆ out of 4)

    This film is not recommended.

    In brief: An admirable attempt at rebooting the horror genre that gets lost in translation.

    GRADE: C+

    Teenagers + Sex = Death. The Unholy Three make a deadly combination whenever horror films are concerned. Pay heed: Have sex and you will become the next victim! Freddy, Michael, or Leatherface will absolve you from sin with a quick slice-and dice maneuver. It’s the movie code. The latest supernatural fright-fest, It Follows, takes that common premise for a little spin. Oh, sex is still on the menu, but now, it can possibly save your life, making a no-win situation into a win-win. Let me explain without giving too much away.

    Maika Monroe plays Jay, the teen in peril as an invisible force is set to kill her off. She has been cursed via a sexual transmitted encounter with her boyfriend. Now, a shape-shifting apparition will follow her to her death unless she can find another sexual partner to infect ASAP to stop this chain reaction. It is this dilemma that becomes the basis for the film and its minimal scares.

    David Robert Mitchell shows promise. He is more skilled as a director than screenwriter. He gives his low budget film some nice highs with his strong imagery and adds moody suspenseful sequences that owe a great deal to John Carpenter and Wes Craven. Complete with an effective synthesized score to ratchet up the tension, the film has an eerie nightmarish atmosphere. Mitchell wisely downplays the monster, leaving much to the viewer’s imagination. However, he still goes for too many cheap scare tactics with abrupt sound effects that go bump in the night.

    It Follows doesn’t quite follow the formula we moviegoers have come to expect. Which is good. However, what is bad is that the movie loses its focus midway in a script that is in need of some major rewrites, especially when logic is constantly lost along the way. There are too many dumb actions from our heroine and his friends, plus odd anachronistic items that make one wonder about the era and timeframe of the film when one should be more engrossed in the story. (Is it the 60’s, 70’s, or 80’s?) Some leaps of logic occur in the flawed screenplay: Must teenagers always run to a deserted location in the middle of the night when being hunted? Are there any police or adults around to help? Has no one notice some strange deaths that are happening in the community?

    While there is much to admire in the film’s execution, the overall effect plus an unsatisfying ending only make It Follows just another victim in the horror genre.

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  • Movie Name : It Follows ( 2014)
    Genre : Horror
    Rating : Good 3 / 5

    “” A chill will run down your spine and you will love it !!! “”

    It Follows was a different horror movie with unique experience and one of its kind. The movie had limited release in US and was distributed by first time studio Radius-TWC. It grew well thanks to strong word-of- mouth and that made me curious to watch the film.

    It follows tells the story of a young woman who gets duped by her boyfriend after he passes a supernatural element which makes her followed by dead people in an attempt to kill her.

    First time director David Robert Mitchell does a fabulous job in creating haunting atmosphere from the beginning which creates tension and suspense. The movement of the film is slow and it takes time to build upon of each character. David succeeds in pumping up the adrenalin with what-will-happen-next surprise coupled with perfect background score and brilliant camera work. The screenplay is crispy but does falter in the 2nd half. The abrupt ending might sway away few audience. Also, it could have been explained what exactly is following and how it began ( may be they will come up with a prequel later). Nevertheless, the applauding camera work , haunting and yet tuneful background music by Rich Vreeland are icing on the cake. The story is definitely interesting with few spooky moments though not very scary but will hold your attention. Performances by new comers are worth-mentioning especially Maika Monroe.

    This one is sure going to be loved by ones who crave for a good horror movie.

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  • The review of “IT FOLLOWS” by JANUSZ MADEJ.
    Whenever you hear about an independent horror movie with a very humble budget of $2 million that is being thought as the best independent horror of the year, it always gets me worried. My expectation get so big that I often get disappointed with the outcome. I had this with James Wan’s “The Conjuring” which news from early screenings were so optimistic that the movie was pushed forward to premiere during better, more viewers friendly time of of the year. The film was ok, but far from horror masterpiece like “INSIDIOUS”, which on the other hand was wonderfully surprisingly excellent in it’s own right.
    Director David Robert Mitchell with his stylish scary movie “IT FOLLOWS” decided to bring a new twist in the horror genre.
    The concept of sexually transmitted haunting has never been done to my knowledge.
    For nineteen-year-old Jay, Autumn should be about school, boys and week-ends out at the lake. But after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter, she finds herself plagued by strange visions and the inescapable sense that someone, something, is following her. Faced with this burden, Jay and her friends must find a way to escape the horrors that seem to be only a few steps behind.
    By clearly using an inspiration from directors like Carpenter, Mitchell’s vision is full of 80’s electronic music with long panning shots that often are the master shots of the scenes. The camera is spinning on its axes as we always wonder if something is not hiding in the shadows, or indeed following the characters. This is where the strength of this film lays, it’s suspense. And not the cheap, corny kind, but sometime borderline stylistic homage giving to filmmakers like Kubrick and his horror masterpiece “The Shining”. There are clear moments that brings to mind this timeless classic, even things like sound design and music which is stylistically used in a very suspenseful way.
    Indeed perhaps this the best way to describe this film is that is suspenseful. If it is gore you are after, then this film will not be to your satisfaction, there is very little of it. Not counting the opening sequence, that is. In fact perhaps is not right to call IT FOLLOWS a horror, its more of a dark, suspense thriller.
    Now, that means that there are spots of frights spread around in the story but sometime in between we might feel bit disconnected from the story, though the performances are solid specially from Maika Monroe playing “infected” Jay Height. This film has often slow and individual passing. Very meditative with above mentioned slow panning dolly shots creates moody stylistic throwback to horrors of 60’s, 70’s and specially 80’s. This might not be to everyone liking, I personally liked it a lot.
    Is this the best horror film of the year? …not too sure about that.
    Is it worth checking out?… most definitely, specially if you’ve been looking for something suspenseful and scary. But be prepared IT FOLLOWS is not your typical horror. Here the style dictates the substance.
    (**** out of 5)
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  • Quickie Review:

    Jay (Maika Monroe) is a high school girl who goes on a date that ends with a seemingly innocent sexual encounter. Soon after she finds herself being followed by a supernatural entity. She must find a way to escape this curse before it leads to her death. It Follows, is not the typical horror movie that depends on jump scares. Instead it uses a combination of atmosphere and soundtrack to deliver some really intense and chilling visuals. This is not a movie for everyone, with a fair share of weirdness that might put off certain viewers. On the other hand, the unique tone, sound design and visuals, caters to people who are aching for an original film in the horror genre.

    Full Review:

    One of my favourite genres of film is horror, but I’m not blind to the fact that this genre is filled with movies of poor quality. Just look at last year with horrible releases such as Annabelle and Ouija. Then again when there is a good horror movie like Babadook, it can induce a rollercoaster of emotional reactions. I had high expectations for It Follows and personally it surpassed it.

    When it comes to these films I prefer to be frightened by the things I can’t see, playing off of the psychological terror of the characters. That was very well done by Maika Monroe as the lead. Quite frequently horrors have the dumb blonde who sleeps around, a cheap cliché that I don’t really like but easily fits this movie’s premise. However, Monroe’s character was more than this typical cliché. She’s just an average teenage girl who happens to be a victim of unfortunate circumstances. You see how conflicted she is on how to handle this curse, whether to pass it on, involve her friends, or simply give up. Another horror cliché that is turned on its head is the topic of sex. Most of the time sex scenes are just added in scary films to attract a certain type of audience, but in It Follows sex is an integral part of the story. There is something deeply terrifying about being haunted for a very personal act. A supernatural entity infringing upon your most private moments is disturbing to say the least. Suffice to say It Follows is a horrible date movie.

    Jump scares in scary movies are like shaky cams in action films, I absolutely hate them. The reason why I hate jump scares so much is because it diffuses all the built up tension in a scene, forcing that build up to start all over again. Thankfully I can only remember one time when It Follows used that trick. Rest of the time it was the atmosphere and the soundtrack that sent chills down my spine. Even when there was nothing happening the 80’s synth music kept up that level of intensity. I also really liked the cinematography of the movie. From the very first scene with a fixed rotating camera, you know you are in for a very distinctive cinematic look. That distinct look is also there with the setting of the movie. You don’t really know in which era this movie takes place. The characters will be watching black and white cheap sci-fi’s on a bulky CRT TV while at the same time using an e-book to read off poetry. It’s these little things that bring almost a fantastical element to the story, making the supernatural aspect fit perfectly into this world.

    With all that said the big question is, was it scary? I’d say yes, because I was noticing every person that passed by me on the street while I biked back home in the night at almost 1:30am. I’d only caution that you be aware of the different tone of the movie, because if you are not expecting that (like my friend didn’t) it can be jarring at first. In the end even if you happen to not like the movie it’d be hard to deny the originality of the movie. I loved It Follows for being totally weird while still being interesting and intense.

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  • Jay (Maika Monroe) is a quiet suburban girl whose recently began dating a mysterious guy (Jake Weary). During one of their dates the couple has sex in the back of his car near an abandoned building and afterwards Jay is knocked unconscious by her date. She wakes up bound to a wheelchair in the building where the man begins to describe the curse he’s passed onto her. A creature will now follow her wherever she is, but it can only walk. When it reaches her, she’ll die and when she dies it continues after the person who first passed on the curse.

    There’s a recent trend in independent horror film of the last few years to homage and reinvent late 70’s and early 80’s horror styles. Through direction, cinematography, premise, production design and especially soundtrack, films such as House of the Devil, Beyond the Black Rainbow, Stage Fright and Maniac among others stand independent from the tired trends of blue-filtered, rebooted, CGI-laden, jump-scare slashers that dominate modern horror. David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows has the simplest of premises; through sex someone can transfer a curse to you that manifests as a creature that appears as human that is relentlessly following you and when it touches you, you die. It borrows one of Halloween’s most iconic shots, while simultaneously Disasterpiece’s musical style is influenced great by John Carpenter as well, and Mitchell has claimed that Carpenter and George A. Romero significantly influenced his film.

    Visually, It Follows is a gorgeous example of independent film-making. The most suspenseful scenes are composed with undeniable care, with many shots lingering to zoom, pan or maintain dread. The film also employs numerous wide, symmetrical slow-paced shots and often uses space and movement in beautiful, terrifying ways.. This film absolutely excels in otherwise dulls scenes as even discussing what Jay and her friends next plan is becomes thrilling as through premise and composition It is always likely to appear. As said earlier, the film has a distinct 70’s style and this also manifests in the behaviours of Jay and her group who, despite the incongruity with modern teenagers, are often found watching 50’s B-horror films or simply sitting on their porch.

    Read the full review at http://www.thatothermovieblog.blogspot.com.au

  • There are many types of horror movies: gore porn, slasher movies with jump scares galore, and the slow paced creepy and eerie atmospheric films. It seems with the success of “Paranormal Activity” and “The Conjuring”, the latter style is becoming more and more popular. “It Follows” follows in the same vain.

    It is slow, but well-paced, has a great accompanying soundtrack which build on overbearing sense of dread. However, what it is not is scary. The problem lies within its premise. It is unique and interesting – an STD that comes with your own personal spirit-thing that tries to kill you. It slowly and unendingly walks towards you, and if it gets you, it kills you. The emphasis here is on the word slow. It doesn’t even walk at a normal speed. You could just briskly walk away from it. At no point was there tension; at no point did I fear for the main character’s life. All the atmosphere in the world can’t save the film if I don’t think the spirit is capable of killing their intended target.

  • “This thing. It’s going to follow you. Somebody gave it to me. And I pass it to you.”

    Now this was a movie I really was looking forward to. I’m a horror fanatic who’s always on the lookout for films in this genre that leave others far behind in terms of originality and atmosphere (such as “He never died”, “Goodnight Mommy”, “The Babadook” and “Spring” for instance). And many advised me to watch this one. The fact that the hype about this movie was disproportionate, made my expectations go sky-high. And did it meet my expectations? Partially it did and partly it didn’t. The fact that I went outside for some fresh air after I had watched it and I looked briefly over my shoulder because of the feeling that I was being watched, means that the atmosphere was quite alright. On the other hand it wasn’t really creepy and it felt rather as if I watched a ridiculous educational film about the dangers of sexual intercourse.

    The association with sexually transmitted diseases was made quickly. There’s only one difference. Here it’s not confined to the proliferation of microscopic cells that’ll make sure you get such a terrible disease. In “It follows” the deadly sexual disease which spreads from one to another, is presented by slow moving and yet sometimes quite terrifying and sinister-looking individuals. The shape “It” takes is randomly. It ranges from totally unknown persons, to someone in your immediate circle of acquaintances. There’s only one thing the infected person should keep in mind. And that’s not to get caught by “It”. A certain death would be the end result, after which “It” focuses on the previous one in the line of infected victims.

    The beginning of the film certainly wasn’t disappointing. To be honest, in a sense you could say it was brilliant. A confused teenage girl driving off in panic, ending up somewhere on a beach where she makes one last phone call with her parents to say goodbye. The next image is a molested body. The tone was set and it looked like my expectations would be fulfilled. That’s what I thought. Because as the movie progressed, the ominous atmosphere and a feeling of discomfort remained, but really frightening it became nowhere. Even worse. They piled up one stupidity after the other. I thought the final piece was pitifully poor and stupid. And again they couldn’t resist to finish in the most clichéd manner. The only one who was able to use his brain cells was Paul (Keir Gilchrist). His solution was as effective as dead simple.

    But once again, the overall mood was tremendous. That constant feeling of threat reminded me of the better horror movies of the 80s like “Halloween” or “Friday the 13th”. The only difference is that now it’s not about a crazy psychopath with a shiny sharp knife, but something supernatural. A kind of insidious disease. The soundtrack with intensive synth music and familiar sound effects were reminiscent of films made in that period. Even attributes of that time were used here. Although I sometimes had the impression that they mixed up two different eras (a black and white TV and an e-reader). Maybe the characters were fans of a vintage interior design. In terms of originality “It follows” scores very high. But in terms of implementation, the horror content could be somewhat stronger. Maybe they could use this film as an educational film for today’s youth.

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  • “It could look like someone you know or it could be a stranger in a crowd. Whatever helps it get close to you.”

    In an era that doesn’t take the horror genre seriously anymore, It Follows is the answer to our deprivation as it crawls under our skin and lingers for days to follow.

    Filmmakers like Jim Mickle with “We Are What We Are,” Jennifer Kent with “The Babadook,” and now David Robert Mitchell with “It Follows”are starting to bring the horror genre back, and I’m loving it!

    It Follows does something clever–it takes a very old concept and revamps it for a new generation without the cheap thrills and typical scares of a campy horror. If Halloween and A Nightmare on Elm Street had a baby, this would be their Frankenstein. Like it’s predecessors before it, It Follows creates enough unease to make you sleep with the lights on, look behind every corner and cringe from what’s under the bed.

    How often do horror films create such a level of dread?

    After Jay Heights (Maika Monroe) has a sexual encounter with Hugh (Jake Weary), her seemingly tranquil life turns into a crash course of survival 101 when a paranormal entity begin following her. But no one else can see it. The only way to get rid of it is to pass it on through sexual intercourse, and that’s how this fatal game is played.

    Sounds pretty ridiculous right? It’s actually not.

    “It” can look like anyone: an old woman, a child, your mom. And it doesn’t sprint after you, or pop out from behind the corner, it paces toward you…very slowly. A pace as sedated as the zombies from Night of the Living Dead and equally as determined.

    Writer and director David Robert Mitchell conceived the film based upon recurring dreams he had in his youth about being followed. Mitchell refers to the dreams as anxiety dreams, which is less disturbing than a nightmare and is characterized with feelings of unease, distress or apprehension in the dreamer upon waking up.

    The film features a handful of believable performances of the angst and confusion of being a young adult. Intimacy between the characters builds strong bonds that the horror tests, and Maika Monroe’s Jay is the scream queen of our smartphone generation. Her sheer anguish from contracting this “disease” is palpable–her pain seeps inside of you.

    While it may sound like a hokey STD demon nightmare, it’s roots and metaphors offer something more substantial than your average thriller.

    Another unique component of the film is the ambiguous timeline associated with the plot. It has an ultra 80s vibe with retro cars yet is engrossed with modern technology. Early CRT television sets are shown whenever the characters are watching classic movies. Conflicting technology include one character on a device that looks like a shell compact, but she reads from it like an e-book reader and uses it as a light source at one point. It’s like a hipster’s wet dream. But while it upholds the sense of modernity, the emotions are vintage…your parents can’t help you, the police can’t help you, there isn’t an app for It. Ultimately, you’re on your own. Shit out of luck.

    The ambiguity of the plot heightens the tension and creates a greater threat to our psyche. Where exactly does “it” come from and how can “it” be contained or destroyed?

    One of the characters reads out a section from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel The Idiot, which sums up the meaning behind our anxiety regarding It and ties together what they’re experiencing:

    “But here I should imagine the most terrible part of the whole punishment is, not the bodily pain at all-but the certain knowledge that in an hour, then in ten minutes, then in half a minute, then now-this very instant-your soul must quit your body and that you will no longer be a man-and that this is certain, certain!”

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