The independent film community is here to save the horror genre and several films as of recent have been proof. It’s incredibly pleasing to see neat and original ideas being presented in wake of the “found footage” style craze that doesn’t seem to want to end any time soon.
The original idea on display in “It Follows” might sound a bit out there at first, but there is a lot of neat metaphorical weight to the concept. “It” is a figure that walks slowly towards its victim. It never runs, but it never ceases walking either. If it catches its victim before he or she passes “It” onto another person, its victim is dead. While that’s all fine and simple, the way in which “It” is passed from victim to victim is the heavier and more interesting aspect of this film.
“You don’t believe me do you?”
Jay is an attractive teenage girl who unfortunately falls prey to “It”. This occurs through her having intercourse with her boyfriend in the back of his car, thus passing the curse onto her. At this point it is clear that “It” is sexually transmitted, an interesting metaphor for similarly transmitted diseases. The only difference is that Jay has one real to end her curse: to sleep with someone else and pass the curse onto them. Aside from this terrific core concept, the film shines a bright spotlight on the main cast of suburban teenagers, providing the terrifying horror film with the charm of lockers and passing periods.
As terrific and terrifying the concept of this film is, perhaps the aspect of the film more eye catching is the film’s terrific shot composure and cinematography. “It” is a slow-moving stalker and this film as a result adapts to be a slow-moving piece. Jump scares and cheap frills are traded for slow-moving cameras and shots big enough to allow the audience to gradually notice “It” in the distance as opposed to the film cuing the audience through audio or any sort of editing, making for an all the more terrifying experience.
And quite impressive this cast is. Maika Monroe does a terrific job as the ordinary girl running for her life as death creeps every towards her. Another interesting surprise for this film however is the unexpected complexity of two of Jay’s friends played by Olivia Luccardi and Keir Gilchrist. While Luccardi’s character is a nerdy best friend who is a joy to watch, Keir’s character in particular has had a crush on Jay since childhood- and knowing the rules of “It”, he has decent enough reason to step up to the plate and play along.
The rules are a somewhat less consistent than they might ought to be however, and “It Follows” as a result will definitely leave its audiences scratching their heads for a little bit. This said, it takes no time to forget all the specifics and just marvel at how impressive the indie communities attempts to redefine the horror genre are.
Runtime: 1 hr 47 min