I saw It Follows in the cinema twice in the space of a week. The first time, I hadn't seen the trailer before watching it and I was expecting a typical modern horror film. After the very first scene I knew that this film was not going to be what I had expected.
If you haven't seen the film, the premise is that a girl obtains a curse after having sex and she is constantly being followed by "It". There is only one of it, but it can look like anyone or anything. It does whatever it has to do to get close to you, we are told.
The soundtrack for this film is a nostalgic synthesised soundtrack that sounds like a homage to 80's slasher movies and sets the overall theme of the film. It ranges from peaceful melodies to genuinely frightening and distressing at times.
The director of this film, David Robert Mitchell, uses really unusual camera techniques throughout the film. There are several 360 shots like in the opening scene where the camera rotates slowly, along with a lot of panning and zooming in most scenes. He's a relatively new director with only one previous feature film, and it's exciting to see confident techniques used by someone like that. I am already looking forward to see what he does next.
Two things stood out to me particularly about It Follows. It has a sense of timelessness and there is a noticeable absence of parents throughout the film. In the first couple of minutes, I had come to the conclusion that the film was set in the 70's or 80's due to the box television sets, but after a girl uses a weird shell type touch screen phone, it became clear that this film was intentionally not set in any time period. We see the protagonist's mother sit at the table in the background facing away from the camera and otherwise we don't see her at all. The only characters we see that speak are all teenagers, making them seem isolated and helpless to the problem that they face.
I have read some reviews that have criticised the film for lacking originality and paying too much homage to older films. I disagree. This film breaks the rules of its predecessors. The final girl is not a virgin and her problems stem from that very fact. It has broken barriers, it is likely to be copied and gain a cult following.
All of these features make for a really enjoyable film, and on top of it all, the plot of the film is actually scary. While not exactly a relatable story, it feels like it doesn't matter because the characters are. My only criticism is that the momentum gets a bit lost leading up to the climax and the energy that is built in the first hour of the film should have been carried better up to the end. But overall it is incredibly enjoyable and deserves the praise it has so far gotten. I have rarely gotten to the end of a film and felt the need for a second viewing, particularly in the cinema.