May 7, 2015

Theatrical Review: It Follows (2015)
(aka Detroit What!)
Release Date: March 27th.
Country: USA.
Rating: R.
Written by: David Robert Mitchell.
Directed by: David Robert Mitchell.
Starring: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi, Lili Sepe, Jake Weary, and Daniel Zovatto.

The best advice that I can give you when it comes to It Follows, is not to listen to all of the hype surrounding it.

That's not to say that It Follows isn't a good movie, because it is. I even happen to think that it's a great one. It's just that with the amount of "OMG best ever!" praise that it's getting from everyone and their mother, the bar is being set extremely high, and that might leave a lot of people feeling underwhelmed by what they actually get from this movie.

It Follows is a subtle movie that marches to the beat of a different kind of drummer. It's mostly bloodless, and most of its scares come in the form of subdued anticipation. This is a movie about fear. The fear of growing up, of losing one's innocence, and yes, on some level, it's about the fear of catching and STD, and living with it until your dying day.

In the fading light of dusk, a teenager runs out of her house wearing only her underwear and high heels, clearly afraid for her life. She takes off in her car, heads for the beach, calls her parents to tell them that she loves them, and by morning, she's dead. This is Metro Detroit, so that kind of thing happens all the time.

In another Metro Detroit neighborhood, sexy little Jay Height is heading out on a date with some guy that she likes. They end up in the back of his car where they make sweet love, after which he chloroforms her, which is odd, because they already had sex, so what's the point? Turns out that he wants to tell her about the sexual curse that he just passed on to her with his dick: since they had sex, there's a sexually transmitted Demon that is going to follow her around until it catches her. When it does, it will promptly end her life in a horrible way. Wherever she goes, It Follows.
Jay initially thinks that the guy is just a creep and a liar, but it's not long before she realizes that there is an It that is really after her, and so she runs. She also hides, but that only works for so long, because It is always walking straight for her. Turning to her closest friends for help, they desperately try to find a way to stop It, which doesn't seem like it's going to be possible. Because once you catch It, it's always with you. Even if you use creams and ointments on it.

Inescapable dread ensues.

Is It Follows about the evils of sex? Is it a cautionary tale about STD's? Is it an examination of growing up and leaving our innocence behind us, and realizing that we can never go back once we do? It's probably about all of that and more, truth be told. In a way, I'm glad that it's meaning wasn't made perfectly clear to us, as it's one of those movies that can be, and is, many things all at once. The best way to put it, I think, is that It Follows is a creepy movie about fate, and how try as you might, you really can't escape it. Then again, it's probably about more than that too.

It Follows' greatest strength is its unnerving atmosphere. We never really learn exactly what "It" is, only that it's coming, and that it will never stop. That's really the fuel for the entire movie, and it's the waiting for "It" to show up that grinds our nerves to a pulp. We caught ourselves at multiple times looking for "It" in the background of every scene, and in that way, we felt exactly what the characters were feeling; an inescapable feeling of impending doom.

The timeless feel that the movie has also works wonders, as it hearkens back to the Horror movies of the late 70's and early 80's, to great effect. From its synth-heavy score (which reminded us a lot of the sonic heaven that was The Guest and Cold in July), to its more than obvious nods and homages to the early work of John Carpenter, It Follows is a movie that you just can't pinpoint chronologically, and it's better off for it.

The cast is solid too, with Maika Monroe being the highlight. She rocked in lat year's The Guest, and she's even better in It Follows, carrying the movie like she's been doing it for years. She's a star on the rise, and after playing the lead in next year's Independence Day 2, she's going to be huge. Hope she doesn't forget us Horror fans. That would make us sad.

Why was the girl at the beginning wearing underwear and heels, and more importantly, why was she running for her life in those heels? Flats, girl. You run in flats!

The scene towards the end at the pool felt a bit off to us. The whole "shooting at the invisible stalker" thing threw us, and felt a bit underwhelming. Then again, the kids thinking that a bunch of lamps and toasters would be enough to electrify a pool of that size didn't quite get it for us either.

That "climactic" scene just wasn't anywhere near as intense as everything that came before it.

There's not a ton of gore in this one, but there were a few bloody bits here and there for us to enjoy. The most graphic of them was probably the scene at the beginning, but other than that, a few gunshot wounds are all we get.

We end up seeing "It" in various stages of undress, in both male and female form. As far as the main cast goes, all we get is a few girls in their undies. There are also a few sex scenes, but they're the pointless kind where everyone stays clothed while scrumping... You know, like in real life. Meh.

If you have sex, a Demon will stalk & kill you. Also, Maika Monroe is fast becoming the sweetheart of the Horror Genre, and we love it.

It Follows may not be "This Year's Babadook!" like we were lead to believe it was, but then we didn't really think that The Babadook was last year's Babadook either, so it's all good. This is a great movie in its own right, though, and one that is worthy of most of the praise that it's getting. This thing drips atmosphere, is incredibly intense, and it will no doubt leave viewers terrified of strangers for years to come.

If you can see in in a theater now, do so. If not, definitely grab a copy when it hits Blu-ray & DVD this summer. Either way, just see it. It's a good one.


It Follows is in theaters now.

The lovely ladies of It Follows: Maika Monroe, Olivia Luccardi, and Lili Sepe.


  1. Been looking forward to viewing this film... (and "digging Up the Marrow"...)

  2. Just one word in my own language "Bellissimo!"

  3. Forget the hype and everyhing will turn out fine. As things stand, if you wait to be kicked out of your seat, you will be disappointed. Good stuff, it is.

  4. The first two-thirds are brilliant, but it loses itself toward the end. Completely agree about the pool scene - it was from a very different (inferior) movie.

    There were times when it really reminded me of the great Japanese movie 'Kairo' ('Pulse'). The same sense of aimlessness, the same run-down urban environment and the same relative absence of people out of their early 20s.

    I didn't understand the scene when she seems to be getting to swim out to a group of guys on a boat. I half-thought she was intending to 'pass it on' to all of them (yeah, that's right). But that might just have been me.

    1. Yeah Oreb, if the last third had been as strong as the first two, this would have been an A+ movie.

      Kairo was a great movie.

      I think she was inteding on doing that, Oreb. But they left it ambiguous, so we will never know...