It Follows

It Follows

It Follows

2015. Directed by David Robert Mitchell.

It Follows took the horror world by storm when it debuted at Cannes in 2014. Mitchell's third film, It Follows is a simple story with complex goals and it nearly attains all of them.

Jay is a college student who, after a sexual encounter, learns she's inherited a curse in which she will be stalked by a specter that can appear as anyone. It never runs, only walks, but it always finds you and the only escape is to pass the curse on via sex. However, even if you pass it on, if your partner is killed, the specter returns to hunting you.

At it's heart, It Follows is an existential declaration that death is inescapable. Using sex as a temporary reprieve from the supernatural death sentence only further cements Mitchell's idea that sex and love are the only ways we can temporarily escape the reaper.

The film's presentation is outstanding. Mitchell takes a careful and deliberate approach to present a decaying Detroit out of time. Kimberly Lietz's costumes are vintage 70's while some of the characters use technology like a sea shell tablet. Mike Gioulaki's cinematography perfectly captured the haunted streets and houses of a once great American city in it's death throws.

None of these elements would work half as well as they do without Disasterpeace's amazing score. The fact the score was overlooked for awards recognition was regrettable.

Mitchell commonly refers to the film as being trapped in an inescapable nightmare. One of the film's best qualities is that it's characters make reasonable mistakes, not onerous ones like the slasher films It Follows appears to emulate. It wears the skin of a 70's slasher but It Follows is so much more.

The film falters a bit in it's conclusion, however it's a near perfect horror ride to get there. I remember being in the theater watching every single person on screen trying to determine who was "It" and that feeling continues through multiple viewings.

My only regret was that I wasn't watching It Follows in a dirty theater with my sneakers sticking to the floor, the way Mitchell intended. Pure, unadulterated horror. Highly recommend.

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