When I walked back to my car alone from the Pickford Film Center after watching “It Follows”, I couldn’t help but turn around to make sure a stranger wasn’t coldly staring back at me and matching my pace. The last showing of It Follows at the Pickford Film Center had a sparse crowd, which for me was ideal, as I enjoy watching horror movies without the distraction of people gasping or jumping out of their seats.
“It Follows” is a horror movie with science-fiction elements combining both old horror movie methods and other innovative ones. Mike Gioulakis’ cinematography was a mix between the Shining’s slow forward zoom and modern extreme close-ups. Both of these methods are often used in horror movies and generally give the audience the feeling that they are part of the story, as witnesses.
From the beginning of the movie, there is a sense of dread as well as isolation. “It Follows” was shot in Detroit and alternates between the suburbs and derelict neighborhoods. This contrast allows the characters to switch between a day-dreamy suburban haze of late adolescence and enter the nightmare of adulthood through the ritual of sexual intercourse, a reference to 1980s horror flicks.
This shift becomes apparent when the main character Jay, played by Maika Monroe, has sex with a man who refers to himself as Hugh. There is a clear loss of trust when Hugh admits he passed on a “curse” to her by engaging in intercourse and warns her she may only lift it by passing it on to someone else. She then tries to survive with the help of her sister and her friends. An interesting thing I noticed in the movie was that most adults had little to no interaction with the main characters. This contributed to the idea that they had to move on from childhood while confronting reality and violence on their own.
The rest of the movie is a succession of terrifying encounters with different “Its”. These entities break in houses, shatter windows and bang on doors. They are unavoidable and unpredictable. The viewer is alerted of their presence through the ominous and often deafening music by Disasterpiece that plays throughout the movie.
The ending left me with one question that is never addressed in the movie, “What is It?” I also felt determined to check that I had locked my bedroom door three times before going to sleep. I absolutely loved “It Follows” and I was always somehow hiding my face with my notebook. I recommend seeing it if nudity, blood and sex do not offend you.
Rating: 4 out of 4 stars
It Follows is available to buy or rent on Amazon.com