“It’s funny. We used to daydream about being old enough to go on dates and drive around with friends in their cars. I had this image of myself, holding hands with this really cute guy, listening to the radio, driving on some pretty road. Up North maybe. The trees starting to change colors. It was never about going anywhere really. It’s having some sort of freedom I guess.
Now that we’re old enough, where the hell do we go?”
Immediately after this is spoken, a man chloroforms Jay (Maika Monroe), ties her up in a wheelchair and explains how a murderous demon is going to haunt her every day unless she sleeps with someone else.
That juxtaposition is what makes It Follows so memorable.
It’s the pairing of the poetic, and the macabre.
The nostalgic, and the terrifying.
Consider the first and last minute of the film.
The opening scene is terror at its absolute finest. The camera pans 360 degrees as dread escalates by the second.
By contrast, the closing minutes are gentler, and would not be out of place in a romance. The camera follows the couple, slowly. We see them holding hands.
Cut to black.
There’s so much more going on here than pure horror.
The photography is beautiful, which augments the suspense, as you’re always expecting an evil entity to burst into a quiet scene and mess the whole thing up.
The best horror movie I have ever seen is Jim Mickle’s We Are What We Are, a brutal and tragic piece on religious fanaticism. But I found that more of a slow burn, more akin to a low-key drama than a full out scare fest.
With It Follows, there is no doubt. Two scenes in particular were so frightening, I had to cover my mouth so as to not wake the house up from all my screaming.
I have rarely, if ever, experienced so much apprehension watching a movie. The only other example might be The Conjuring, but that picture, scary as it was, had moments in which the threat seemed non existent.
Here, every single frame oozes suspense.
Will I be able to sleep at night tonight?
The evil here is not a vicious monster that only pops in the dark.
It’s something more. Something unseen. Something that might not even be a “thing”. Something that is not necessarily scary, but it’s there.