FILM REVIEW – IT FOLLOWS (2015)

Teen thrillers receive an inventive twist in David Robert Mitchell’s IT FOLLOWS.

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When Jay (Maika Monroe, The Guest),a kindhearted nineteen-year-old, is asked on a date by Hugh (Jake Weary, Zombeavers), an attractive male in his twenties, things naturally become sexual. Shortly after hooking up in the backseat of his car, Hugh anxiously explains to Jay that he has passed onto her a paranormal sexually transmitted infection that causes a supernatural being in the shape of a human to follow its target around before ultimately murdering it. Visible only to those who have – or have had – the infection, the only way to stop the being is to infect someone else through sexual intercourse. But should the being kill that person, it begins working its way back down the line.

Though this extravagant concept seems farfetched at first, Jay soon learns just how true Hugh’s claims were, as a shapeshifting being in the form various strangers begins to stalk her. With the help of her sister Kelly (Lili Sepe, Spork), and her friends Paul (Keir Gilchrist, It’s Kind of a Funny Story) and Yara (Olivia Luccardi, The Rewrite), Jay is forced to get creative if she wants to survive.

Right off the bat, in its opening minutes, It Follows establishes itself as an atmospheric thriller that isn’t afraid of brutality. Featuring excellent special effects work by Robert Kurtzman, the film balances genuine, emotive scares with some disturbing visuals. Set in Detroit, there’s a very early ’90s visual style to the film, which fits surprisingly well with a wonderful synth-heavy score from Disasterpeace. Nothing if not immersive, It Follows is as persistent and frightening as its villain.

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After bursting onto the scene with a starring role in Adam Wingard’s The Guest, Maika Monroe continues to show her impressive acting chops in an incredibly emotional, painfully honest performance. As Jay becomes more and more desperate to shake the feeling of someone following her, Monroe transforms in a downright impressive manner. Keir Gilchrist is stellar as always, as is the entire supporting cast. Everyone brings their A-game, and all of the characters are believable, smart, and most importantly, likable.

Unique in every sense of the word, It Follows just feels like a different kind of movie; like you’re watching something that is, on some level, groundbreaking. A generally dreary, shocking picture with brief but effective moments of levity, the film has a fine-tuned style that is simply incredible all around.

With one of the most suspenseful final acts in recent memory, and some truly terrifying moments throughout, director David Robert Mitchell meticulously crafts It Follows into a white-knuckle thriller that never lets up. It’s a truly stunning piece of work, and one that is sure to have every audience member on the edge of their seat. If you are a fan of the horror genre, you owe it to yourself to see It Follows, and see it immediately. 9.0/10

-Blair Hoyle
Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine

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