It Follows (2015) – Film Review


It Follows is a low budget horror film written and directed by David Robert Mitchell.  It made its debut on the film festival circuit many moons ago at Cannes and more recently I believe it turned up in Berlin.  The story focuses on a teenage girl called Jay who picks up some unwanted stalkers after a close encounter of the sexual kind with her new boyfriend.

The premise of the film is that there is some kind of demon or evil presence that is passed between people through sex.  The demon takes a variety of human forms who relentlessly walk (never run) after their intended victims.  To put this review in context I’m not a horror fan.  I happened to see this movie because I went to a blind preview at my local cinema and this was what was on offer.  The film opens in the UK later this month and a few weeks later in the US.

I have one abiding memory of this film since leaving the screening and it’s the soundtrack.  It’s an almost overbearing synth sound that if you’ve watched The Guest (2014) you can get a feel for what I’m writing about.  The difference is that it is constant and threatens to drown out the dialogue, a situation not helped by the fact the the sound system had been cranked up to the max.  It feels like it belongs to another film.

There are some other odd elements to this film.  There are lots of scenes of water and hands playing with the water … or grass … or small plants … as a teenager speaks wistfully of less troubled times.  The film is made up of peaks and troughs as scenes of action are interspersed with teenagers sitting around on a bed … or on a beach … or in a car … playing with a plant … while reading poetry that speaks of danger around the corner.

I’m sorry but I couldn’t get on with this film.  It has received rave reviews and maybe horror fans can tell me what movie the soundtrack is inspired by or what nods and winks It Follows makes to other films.  To its credit it doesn’t rely on gore or jump scares and there’s a fun scene in a swimming pool.  Speaking of The Guest, the lead role of Jay is played by Maika Monroe who is the best of an otherwise poor bunch.  My rating (2/5).


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