After a romp in the hay with her new boyfriend, Jay Height (Maika Monroe) begins to be stalked by a demon who can take the form of anyone. The demon will always be walking and watching, it's her job to pass it on before it kills her.
For the past few years, horror fans have been subjected to weak material, with a genuine fright coming along once in a blue moon. "It Follows" is unlike your conventional horror and will truly leave you frightened.
"It Follows" centers on Jay played by Maika Monroe (The Guest) whose life is turned upside down when her date warns her that he has passed a demon onto her, the most extreme STD you have ever heard of. The demon, hiding in plain sight, begins to hunt her.
Director David Robert Mitchell doesn't rely on ostentatious visuals or sudden bangs to inflict fear within you, but has created a truly terrifying concept. Mitchell perfectly uses a simple idea and a haunting score to keep you on the edge of your seat, until long after the film has finished.
The way the film is shot and structured is reminiscent of classic horrors such as "Halloween" and "A Nightmare On Elm Street", also playing on the age old theme of punishment for sex to push the narrative along. The film is set in modern day yet has a retro atmosphere to it, because of its style and the themes explored. From the group of teens and lack of adult characters, to the sexual themes and even to the score, this is definitely a homage to horrors of the late 70's/early 80's, paying great respect to filmmakers such as John Carpenter, Wes Craven and David Cronenberg.
The director almost conditions the audience by playing the eerie and off-putting electronic score whenever the threat is close by, readying you for the horror that is to come. He doesn't need surprises to scare the audience, and that's the sign of a great horror director.
Cinematographer Mike Gioulakis shoots the film perfectly, giving a classic feel to this modern horror. He uses wide shots perfectly, establishing the action in the foreground, whilst an impending danger lurks in the back.
Mitchell sets out to truly unsettle the audience, beginning with a mysterious and ultimately gory prologue that sets the tone for the entire film. The film is based on a simple idea, but this is one of the most original and thought provoking horror films in recent years. Not one frame of film is put to waste, Mitchell puts thought into every encounter with the monster, one that is sure to become a hit with horror fanatics, yet may not rise to iconic fame as its true form is never revealed.
Maika Monroe, who was a revelation in Adam Wingard's "The Guest", leads the film and has no trouble doing so. She perfectly captures the paranoia and hopelessness that her character needed. The cast of characters aren't given immense detail, but these aren't hollow stereotypes either. They're given just the right amount of attention, aspects of their personality coming across in lines of dialogue. Unlike today's mainstream horrors, "It Follows" takes time with its characters and its story, instead of bombarding you with constant jump scares which frankly are ruining the genre.
Like "Cabin In The Woods", the film takes genre conventions and has an enormous amount of fun by toying around with them in a way that never feels like a parody, like "Cabin In The Woods" unfortunately did.
If I can give any advice to you before seeing this film, it is this; do not watch the trailer! Whilst it never gives away any serious plot points, it does ruin some visuals that are truly surprising when experienced on the big screen for the first time.
The films major set pieces are exemplified by the more toned down scenes in which very little happens, but because of the threat introduced (a person walking) even those scenes are somewhat scary.
"It Follows" is certainly a must see for all hardcore fans of the genre, who will recognize the true inventiveness of the film and have a lot of fun, whilst also becoming gradually terrified.