I am the first person to say no to a horror film and with good reason, I am the biggest scaredy-cat. I know all the tricks to try and get past being scared:
– telling yourself it isn’t real, poking holes in the storyline with what I know to be true
– covering your ears so that the audio of the film doesn’t build the anticipation and help scare you even further
– focusing on the corner of the screen so the people you are with think you are watching when really you are attempting to force tunnel vision on your brain
None of these worked while I watched the film It Follows. This movie horrified me on so many levels, because it was psychological, sexual, eye-catching and even hypnotizing at times. It Follows is not set at any specific time but is set in the outskirts of Detroit, Michigan which is all for an amazing purpose. The imagery of suburban homes versus the dirty abandoned warehouses and decrepit victorian style homes of south Detroit bring a gruesome truth hidden in plain sight. Now you might begin to ask, if you haven’t seen any trailers or other information about It Follows, who is the big baddie in this? Well the big baddie is actually just one entity, an entity that takes over or appears in one single form of a human and slowly but surely walks towards you to kill you. I know what you are thinking if they walk slow then just run away, well you can try but eventually it will catch up to you and when it does don’t let it touch you. The best part of this entity is how it’s transmitted (pun intended).
So yes, this entity is given to each person via sex, just like any other STD however it does have rules. You give it to someone, they die, it comes back to you, all you can do is keep fucking and keep passing it off. This is the part of the story I think I liked the most, not because it was sexy but because it was intriguing. It follows the same idea of sexual inclusion, every person your partner has slept with, you have slept with. This movie is not a PSA against sexual activity but rather a devilish insight to the way in which we treat sex within society how it somehow makes us dirty.
The anticipation and agony of sitting through a horror movie for me is intensified so much more by the music throughout the film. And for It Follows the eerily synthesized sounds of Rich Vreeland aka Disasterpeace, further escalates and heightens that experience. The music is reminiscent of the Drive soundtrack, 80s techno and a dreamlike sequence of the Freddy Kreuger genre. Speaking of 80’s references don’t be tricked into thinking the movie takes place in the 80’s it doesn’t, I’ve researched it and even the director states the movie is meant to anachronistic. I think the reason why I liked this film so much, is Maika Monroe who plays our main cursed character, she was so ridiculously believable, provoking and in general enrapturing. I think she was just a perfect casting, beautiful, innocent and something so vulnerable about how she performed. I also thoroughly enjoyed the way in which the film was shot, cinematography is very important when it comes to creating the spooky atmosphere and I definitely think that the cinematography throughout It Follows contributed to my racing heartbeat.
It should be said however that some of my more horror-fiend friends did not find the movie as scary, they say it’s a lot of jump scares, they also may have hyped up the movie more in their head than they should have.
Honestly Flossers, I don’t like horror movies, but I really enjoyed (obviously after locking the door 10 times in my house and salting the earth around my bed) I did enjoy the movie. Thinking on the film I could see how the suburban street of Detroit vs the dilapidating warehouses of southern Detroit help to further explore this idea of darkness that looms from behind everyones past. The film was originally released at Cannes in 2014 and only recently hit theaters in the US on March 13th, I think it is something you definitely should catch but if you are a horror lover you may want to wait for the DVD, or Blu-Ray release.