TIFF 2014 Review: It Follows
It Follows has terrifying possibilities; some realized, and some unfulfilled.
A demonic curse is set upon 19-year-old Jay (Maika Monroe, also in The Guest), but at least she is given fair warning from her desperate man. The pair has had sex – consensually – but afterwards, moving from the desolate parking lot to the abandoned building, Jay is treated to a horrifying gift.
Through sex, she has been given a follower: an ambulatory presence, taking the shape of any human being that will tail her incessantly. When it reaches her, it will kill her – we get a quite a gruesome and effectively opening scene to illustrate – unless of course she passes it on, by having sex through another.
The (other) catch is that when *it* kills someone, it goes back up the sex chain (ahem).
With a voyeuristic eye, creeping camera, and haunting, synthesizer-fueled soundtrack, director David Robert Mitchell takes his time to explore the space surrounding Jay and her protectorate of friends, often panning in full circles as you stare into the background for something to pop up. The paranoia that runs through Jay’s mind is even stronger in that of the viewer – what are you doing falling asleep?
However, the conceit starts to sag in the second half, fading away during a muddled finale. Pure terror exists at times, and the film does well to employ a variety to figures (often sexual) to follow. Technically excellent and with a strong premise, It Follows has high ambition and worthy results.