I knew nothing about It Follows when it was initially released, hence why this review is so late, and I only decided to watch it because of the feedback that I had been hearing, which shows what word of mouth can do for a film. It Follows is an American supernatural Thriller/Horror that explores the concept of a demon that follows people that obtained a ‘curse’ by sleeping with others that have it, the curse works in similar way to the Final Destination films, there is an order. The order in the film is that the most recent person to have had sex with someone who already has this curse, is then at the front of the list and if they were to die, the demon would then work its way down the list.
The film centres around Jay Height (Maika Monroe) as she ‘catches’ the curse by having sex with Hugh (Jake Weary), this leads to Hugh knocking Jay out with chloroform. Jay wakes in a wheelchair tied up, this gives Hugh the opportunity to explain that the two of them sleeping together has passed on a curse which will result in her being followed by a demon that can disguise itself as anyone and anything. Conveniently, the demon is close and Jay is able to experience the demon following her as Hugh pushed her around an abandoned building, trying to prove what he is saying is genuine. Hugh also goes into detail about the demon and general tips about how to be safe, or temporarily safe anyway.
Once home Jay is scared and doesn’t know what to believe, after a number of encounters with the demon that her other friends can’t see, they decide to go looking for Hugh. Jay, Jay’s sister Kelly (Lili Sepe), Greg (Daniel Zovatto), Yara (Olivia Luccardi), Paul (Keir Gilchrist) end up going away, with some still unsure of this alleged curse. The story advances and shows the different approaches that Jay and her friends take to the demon and curse, some involving attacking the demon and others involve running.
The film has a decent steady pace, not taking thirty to forty minutes to get into the story like some horror films, there are times throughout the film where it becomes slow and slightly boring however aren’t long enough to become a distraction. Despite the good performance from Monroe, there are times where the filming and acting from other cast members can really take the audience member out of the experience. Although, the tone of the film is fairly unique and connects to many different factual relevant issues. The writer and director, David Robert Mitchell, discussed how the film was inspired by the anxiety of being followed that he had experienced in his own dreams. There have been other comparisons made to STD’s from critics.
The film has a great concept, which I feel is what makes it that little bit special and has created the buzz that it has had, however the execution of that concept hasn’t quite reached the level it could have. The idea of a demon that takes the form of anyone and no matter where they are they are walking in your direction, is pretty terrifying for anyone. The film restricts and also provides inconsistencies with the demon, in one scene being brutal and the next providing many opportunities for the cursed person to get away. The score for the film in my opinion was the worst aspect of the film, mostly not fitting the mood of the film and ruining scenes that had potential. Overall, It Follows was enjoyable and creepy at times but like all films had its issues, there is without a doubt that there could be more films based on the concept, whether that was to follow the same story I’m not sure if it would provide the opportunity to develop the idea further.