It Follows: Film Review

It Follows, retro 80's inspired poster.
It Follows, retro 80’s inspired poster.

What can be said about the break through horror film of the year that already hasn’t been said.It follows premiered on the film festival circuit before opening nation wide. What was supposed to only be a week spend in a few theaters turned into a wider release and a longer stay in theaters. I was intrigued from the moment I saw the first trailer. That does not happen often. Somewhere I saw the link to the movie and I watched it. I kept up with the news and suddenly a lot of hype surrounded this gem. A modern day supernatural horror film set in Detroit, Michigan. It Follows stars Maika Monroe as Jay a teenager that experiences a strange sexual encounter. A mysterious creature follows her where ever she goes and there is no escaping it. The only way to get rid of it, is to sleep with someone else. If they die, it will come back.

Maika Monroa in It Follows
Maika Monroa in It Follows

The main question surrounding the hit is, exactly what is it? Some have concluded that it is a thinly veiled metaphor for STD’s. A notion struck down from writer/director David Robert Mitchell. Mitchell has stated that the inspiration came from a recurring dream he had as a kid. David utilizes the mostly white suburban neighborhood and the abandoned areas of Detroit to his advantage. Everything matters in this world. Old cars and vintage TV’s last scene in our grandparents guest bedrooms exist in the world of It Follows. The first scene obviously set in a more upper class neighborhood and a little shell reader device are the only indications that this is a modern tale. What works is that we question where we are. We know that It Follows is set in the present time, but somehow the lack of modern technology seems believable.

It Follows Poster
It Follows Poster

Have you ever felt a mysterious feeling that you couldn’t quite shake? Did it exist after a dream or was connected to a mental illness? Whatever it was or is, you will connect to Jay. She is a beautiful girl next door channeling Catherine Deneuve and Simone Simon in Cat People. Monroe’s vulnerability proved her humanity without taking away what made her strong. Jay is already a girl struggling with the disillusionment of life. At 19 I know I was too. Surrounded by her friends and attending college while feeling at least a little bit alone. Jay is many of us. Wondering aimlessly through life hopping for answers. Maika has promise in her career and a career as a leading scream queen has presented itself.  Mitchell alluded to classic horror films with out ripping them off. A truly original work from a great mind. I am excited to own the film and see Mitchell return to horror in the future.

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