It Follows Dir. David Robert Mitchell

[Radius-TWC; 2015]

Styles: horror
Others: Evil Dead

If Sam Raimi (Evil Dead) had access to modern-day digital film equipment when initiating his odyssey into the horror genre, he might have made something like It Follows. But let’s give credit where credit is due: David Robert Mitchell’s film is one of the creepiest horror tales of 2015 and it manages to be so largely without the blood and gore that so often permeate the genre. It pulls a few old-fashioned horror scares with things that unexpectedly go bump in the night, but the terror here is more psychological and, like all good horror films, derives its fear from issues society rarely wants to meet head-on.

After a night out with her boyfriend goes from romantic to downright horrific, Jay (Maika Monroe, one of the new talents to emerge from the Toronto International Film Festival and also starring in The Guest) emerges from the experience with a sexually transmitted haunting. Yes, you read that right; despite this seemingly absurd-on-paper premise, Mitchell pulls it off. The hauntings Jay experiences are like a slow, inescapable nightmare: easy to avoid at first, but always with her, a dream from which she can’t seem to emerge. It is slow burn horror at its best: a faceless, nameless, and relentless force coming for her day or night.

It Follows is one of the few films that uses the iconic tableau of Detroit — both city and suburbs — to its advantage. Although a few scenes fall short when the opportunity arises to spin a little social commentary (one of my only real criticisms), the Detroit backdrop adds a gothic grandeur and Lynchian creepiness to the film. Add an original synth soundtrack from Disasterpeace (Rich Vreeland) that compliments the eerie visuals and sets a new bar for a modern horror score, and you are left with a genre flick that is as great to listen to as it is to look at.

Most Read