Free Press Journal

Movie Review: It Follows – Nail-biting tension 


Cast:  Maika Monroe, Lili Sepe, Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Yuccardi, Jake Weary, Daniel Zovatto, Linda Boston

Director: David Robert Mitchell

If Christian Ditter followed the romcom route to make a pro-life, anti-abortion statement in Love Rosie, his adaptation of Cecelia Ahern’s novel Where Rainbows End, David Robert Mitchell, writer-director of ‘It Follows’ uses the horror genre as a metaphor for sexually transmitted diseases.

Bleeding hearts would never dream of labelling the teens in Mitchell’s second feature, as promiscuous but the sad and bitter truth is that sex (not necessarily unprotected) in reel (to speak of real life) is responsible for deaths and devastating relationships. Paranoia becomes par for the course for 19-year-old Jay (Maika Monroe) after a sexual encounter in a car with boyfriend Hugh (Jake Weary) who passes on a malevolent spirit  that only the infected (or cursed) can see.

Worse, the entity is satanic in its deception, it can assume the form of even loved ones like friends and parents. Like HIV/AIDS, the diabolical thing will pursue her until it kills her. Unlike HIV/AIDS, the only way to shake it off is to have sex with someone else. In other words, be promiscuous.

When the feckless, make that exploitative, BF drops out of sight, Jay is fortunate her sister Kelly (Lili Sepe) and best friends Paul (Keir Gilchrist) and Yara (Olivia Yuccardi) help her to deal with the horror that stalks her.

A sense of dread permeates the movie from start to end and Mitchell ratchets up the tension from the opening frame itself of a fleeing young woman who soon dies a dastardly death. Cinematographer Mike Gioulakis excels in capturing the trauma of horror in American suburbia.   Devoid of the gore that saturates teenage slasher movies, It Follows is the best horror movie to hit the screen after The Babadook and Honeymoon.