It Follows is the finest horror flick in years



By Steve Newton

Every once in a while a low-budget indie fright flick comes along that makes everything on the major studios’ horror plate look like a pile of steaming crap. It Follows is that film, right now.

Maika Monroe is note-perfect as Jay, a pretty 19-year-old college student getting by in her average Motor City life. But while they’re out on a date, her new boyfriend, Hugh (Jake Weary), chloroforms her after sex in the back seat of his car and binds her to a wheelchair in her undies in the middle of an abandoned parking structure.

Just when you fear that It Follows might turn into yet another gruelling Hostel-type torture-porn epic, we learn that Hugh has only restrained Jay so that he can explain something very important to her. When she comes to, he wheels her around until they spy a naked woman in the distance, shuffling toward them. “This thing, it’s gonna follow you,” he warns. “Somebody gave it to me, and I passed it to you.”

Hugh tells Jay that she can only rid herself of the “follower” by sleeping with someone, but fails to mention that, while slow-moving, it’s powerful enough to rip her limbs off. The rest of the film is a terrifying portrayal of the goodhearted girl’s ordeal as she tries to save herself from the converging ghouls—visible only to her (and us)—without bringing death to those around her.

Writer-director David Robert Mitchell takes the puzzling premise of It Follows and runs it straight into your nightmares. He’s aided by a standout cast of young actors whose naturalistic performances play out against an eerie-as-hell soundtrack by Disasterpeace that echoes the spooky ’70s-style synth work used in drive-in movies by the likes of Goblin, Tangerine Dream, and John Carpenter.

Depressing footage of a decaying Detroit heightens the sense of hopelessness that fuels the engine of fear propelling It Follows, which ultimately leaves you heavy with dread and the notion that it’s the finest horror flick you’ve seen in years.


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