Genre: Thriller, Horror
Release Date: March 13, 2015 (limited)
Runtime: 1 hr. 40 min.
MPAA Rating: R
Another movie from my Most Anticipated Movies of 2015 list, which by the way, hasn't been going very well. Now, I've mostly given up on horror films at this point, but the trailer for It Follows looked promising and slightly different to what Hollywood has had to offer throughout the past few years. The independent film vibe and the strong 80's horror feel of this movie were very obvious from the trailer, and that's something I couldn't pass up.
In a small town, Michigan, Jay (played by Maika Monroe) is your regular college girl enjoying the last warm days in the beginning of autumn. However, after having sex with her boyfriend for the first time, the troubles begin: the guy tells Jay he passed something on to her (?!), and that now it will follow her unless she passes it on to someone else. Yes, my friends, it's a sexually transmitted SOMETHING that wants to kill whoever it's following. After that it will follow the person who passed it along, and so on, down the line. The boyfriend, of course, disappears, so Jay and her friends set out to find him and try to figure out what's going on.
Despite the premise sounding a little odd, it actually works really well. It Follows is very well done, and it's a great homage to 80's horror, complete with a brilliant, haunting retro soundtrack. Every shot of this film is beautifully crafted, and while it's not a story you've seen before, it feels comfortingly familiar. Basically, the style of this film is excellent. It doesn't rely on your regular jump scares either (though there are a couple of them)—it builds tension, and it will have you looking over your shoulder after it's done. However, I didn't find it particularly scary. Sure, there is some disturbing imagery, and overall the film is very creepy, but it's not really what I would call scary—I would say it's more of a thriller than a horror film. It's not a bad thing, I actually prefer that, but if you're someone who expects to be screaming and jumping the whole time—this isn't your movie.
The young talent in It Follows is very impressive—I felt like everyone did a very good job. The characters themselves aren't extremely developed, but for the most part they make sense and they aren't flat. The only problem I had with this film was that it kind of fizzled towards the end. it almost seemed as if the writers weren't sure how to wrap it up. It may have been their intention to have the movie end the way it did, and it IS consistent with the overall mood, but I still had that unsatisfied feeling of "that's it??" at the end.
Overall, I would definitely recommend It Follows to anyone looking for a creepy old-school thriller—it actually FEELS like a classic. Independent film wins again! Learn from this, Hollywood!
Have you seen It Follows? What did you think of the ending?