31 Days of Terror - 'It Follows' (2014)
31 Days of Terror will cover a wide array of horror films leading up to Halloween. We'll be posting our thoughts and feelings on some of our favorites every day for the next 31 days. If your favorite doesn't make it, it doesn't mean we don't like it, so speak up in the comments below!
David Robert Mitchell's It Follows is a horror movie that adds credence to one of my biggest fears. What if some malicious entity always knew where you were and was constantly drawing nearer to you, no matter where you went?
The plot of this film can be summed up by the simple acronym; STD, or sexually-transmitted-demon. Our protagonist, a teenager named Jaime, has sex with a boy who afterwards incapacitates her with chloroform, ties her to a chair and tells her that she will be followed by an evil entity until she passes it to someone else through sex. Despite how ridiculous it seems, she starts to believe him when random people in random places seem to follow her everywhere she goes.
I love this film because it never stops being genuinely creepy. There are two scenes in this film that stand out to me as particularly effective and horrifying. There's one where Jaime looks outside of her classroom and sees a suspicious old lady across the yard in what looks to be a hospital gown. She doesn't think much of it until she is walking down a hallway and sees the old lady inside the school, walking slowly towards her. Queue me watching the TV screen through the slivers between my fingers. There's another scene where Jaime has had an encounter with "it" and she locks herself inside a room upstairs. Her friends console her and tell her it's nothing. One of them opens the door and after a few seconds pass, a looming, tall man walks in out of nowhere directly towards her.
In addition to being an effective fright-fest, I also like the tone and setting of the film. The picture plays like a throwback to horror films of the late '70s and early '80s, though it brings a lot of new things to the table as well. David Robert Mitchell is a gifted filmmaker, who, while making a genuinely scary film, also manages to give his movie a very striking visual look. This film is one of the most beautifully-shot horror films that still manages to value substance over style.
If you haven't yet seen It Follows, you owe it to yourself to at least give it a look. I'd be willing to bet that in 20-30 years this film will have aged phenomenally and will be standing alongside the best of what horror has to offer.