“It Follows,” written and directed by David Robert Mitchell, is nothing short of refreshing.
Though it advertised a plot that sounded like an inevitable train wreck accompanied by a slew of feminist outrage, this film gives birth (or rebirth) to old-school terror.
If there’s anything more refreshing about this film, it’s that classic horror can still make millennials afraid to drive home.
Jay Height, played by Maika Monroe, is an average 19-year-old girl.
She lives in a lower-middle class Michigan home, spends time with her sister and friends, goes to school and has a crush. The crush takes her out.
The date goes well, and the two have sex in the crush’s car parked in an abandoned parking lot.
A story most people can probably relate to, no?
That is, until the crush places a rag over her mouth and Jay wakes up tied to a wheelchair.
The crush tells her that she did nothing to deserve this and that it happened to him, too.
Jay must have sex with someone else to transfer the curse now hanging over her head or else be killed by the entity that is now walking in her direction.
If she is killed, it comes back to get him and will continue backwards until the person who created the curse is dead.
The entity will take any form it can to get close to the afflicted person, yet it’s pretty easy to pick out.
Years of run-of-the-mill horror flicks featuring busty blondes putting out before the chainsaw runs them through has made me a bit cynical.
And while there were three short sex scenes in the movie, they weren’t what you’d expect.
There was modest clothing across the board. No nudity. No pornographic moans, overcompensating male actors or sensual music.
Just sex — real, innocent, slightly awkward teenage sex.
The film offers an almost aesthetic realness to what it presents, which is something else you don’t find often.
Sure, “Insidious” and “The Conjuring,” two of the somewhat scariest movies to come out in the past few years, were good, but weren’t real enough.
You could still tell they were big-budget productions, scary stories told through some high-grade Instagram filter.
In “It Follows,” I felt involved in a way I had never experienced before.
I saw Jay and her friends sitting in her living room, watching TV, and I felt like I knew them, like they were fictional versions of friends I had in real life.
I saw Jay go through her trauma through beautiful indie lenses, complete with impressive 360-degree pans, and I felt like I knew where she came from, that she was a childhood neighbor.
This wasn’t five, unreasonably attractive friends pissing off a ghost in their rich parents’ California abode.
This was your average American teenager unfortunately reaping the consequences of something she didn’t deserve for the almost two-hour runtime.
From the John Carpenter style score, provided by Rich Vreeland (aka “Disasterpeace”), to the relentless entity something reminiscent of the bathroom lady from Kubrick’s “The Shining,” this movie has successfully brought classic, minimalistic horror to 2015.
It’s been called the American equivalent to the 2014 Australian horror breakthrough “The Babadook,” and I couldn’t agree more.
While most modern horror films cut right to the scare, “It Follows” makes you wait for it, and it works because you know it’s always walking your way.“It Follows” was released nationwide March 27.
The film is rated R for disturbing violent and sexual content, graphic nudity and language.