For 19-year-old Jay, fall should be about school, boys and weekends out at the lake. But after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter, she finds herself plagued by strange visions and the inescapable sense that someone, or something, is following her. Jay and her teenage friends must now find a way to escape the horrors that seem to be only a few steps behind.
IT FOLLOWS, begins as a teen named Annie is obviously being chased by something unseen. After escaping to the lake, it doesn't end well for the girl, whom meets a terrible end.
The film then shifts its focus to Jay Height, who is a seemingly ordinary girl, whom has a close relationship with her sister Kelly, and their group of friends. Jay eventually goes out to a movie with Hugh, a guy that she seems to have been seeing for awhile. The date in question goes smoothly, that is until Hugh has a bit of a freak out. However, the two of them eventually move to the back of Hugh's car, where they of course have sex. But it is what happens after, that is most strange. Hugh proceeds to drug her and tie her to a chair. He goes on to explain that he has been followed by some kind of paranormal evil, that has followed him ever since a separate sexual encounter of his own. The paranormal evil has the ability to take shape of anyone in the human form. It could be a stranger, or it could be someone that you hold dear to you, but it is something that only the person being followed, can see. The catch? The only way to get the evil off your back, is through sexual intercourse, thus passing it on to that person. (However, if that person is killed, it would then set its sights back on that person, thus going down the line in which it was passed). After being dropped off by Hugh, following the date, Jay is roughed up, and only feels as though she had been raped, and that what Hugh was saying was just some sort of excuse. Not heeding the warning, Jay proceeds with her day-to-day routine, albeit feeling a little cautious. And it is with good reason. Because soon, she is followed by the talked about supernatural force, which begins to take shape in the people around her, and it has a strong desire to kill. It is up to Jay and her group of friends, to figure it all out before some, or all of them end up dead.
For years, sexual intercourse has been a strong plot point for the Horror genre. The long-running idea has always been, "if someone has sex in a Horror film - they die". IT FOLLOWS is a film which takes this notion literally, while at the same time putting its own spin on it. The film is basically about a paranormal haunting which is passed from victim to victim via sex. So essentially, it could be called the equivalent of a demon-filled STD of sorts. Honestly speaking, the idea behind this film is golden. Those after-school specials that warned kids of the dangers of sex and drugs in the '70s and '80s, don't have anything on IT FOLLOWS. IT FOLLOWS is like what it would be like if the AIDS virus had a face - many different faces, as it would be able to jump from person to person like a parasite. In the film, Jay is facing the worst punishment for her sin, as she finds herself being followed by an evil that wishes to kill her(and should they get in its way, her friends as well).
As a concept, IT FOLLOWS is both new and refreshing in terms of Horror. It's not a remake, it is a new and original idea, which is why I think many people have praised it since its Theatrical release last year. Most critics, and movie goers alike seem to have enjoyed it. I held off on seeing IT FOLLOWS until now, but I had been curious as to where I would fit on this grid. Well, as it turns out, I am not as much impressed with the film. As I said, I think the film's overall concept is great. Even the retro feel of the film, and the little hints of greats like Carpenter and Craven are all good with me. I just felt that for the most part, the film's execution just wasn't so great. A little uneven at times. Sometimes the Horror is dead-on serious, while other times, things come off a little comical. I mean, what is it, a psychological Horror film, or a Horror parody? There are genius moments in this film, ones that qualify the film for comparisons to some of the greats of the '60s, '70s and '80s, but then there are also the moments which easily lend themselves to be the subject of many parodies to come. I mean, who wouldn't be quick to mock a film, whose plot involves a paranormal haunting, a demon passed around through sex. It's a walking STD. Parodies will probably be right around the corner, and they'll probably be awful, too. Honestly things eventually become just too easy to laugh at, which dumbs down the film's momentum. It's unfortunate, because this idea could possibly be the next big idea in Horror.
IT FOLLOWS is a film that gets off to a great start, has a few glimmers of hope through out, however, a good majority of it plays like a film that is not meant to be taken seriously, although that is not its intention. I listened to a little bit of the commentary on the disc, which features a number of critics. One critic mentioned how IT FOLLOWS sort of "exists in its own world". I suppose that this could be another of IT FOLLOWS' intentions as well, however I never picked that out. I felt that in terms of the film's "world", things were a little "normal", aside from the haunting thing. No dream worlds in sight. Or at least, none that I was sensing.
IT FOLLOWS brings to the table a unique, and surprisingly original idea, but unfortunately is unable to keep up the pace, and in the end, falls short of its potential, resulting in an uneven effort.
2/10 When it comes to gore, IT FOLLOWS doesn't offer a lot, as the film is more psychological in natural. But there is a brutal broken leg near the beginning, as well as several instances of blood through out.
4.5/10 Some people have talked negatively about the film's offbeat score. The film's composer Disasterpiece gives the film an all electronic score, thus giving the film that retro feel which the film hopes to convey. While the score isn't the typical score(even by Carpenter standards). I personally felt that it wasn't all that bad.
IMPRESSION OF THE FILM
IT FOLLOWS is another one of those films that could, and should have been better, seeing as its plot idea is so innovative and new. But coming away from the film i'm just not that impressed. Certainly not at the level which this film has been hyped. With that said, I hate to say it, but I feel that IT FOLLOWS is really overrated. Don't get me wrong. I really liked the fresh young cast, and even the idea, but the film just fails to keep things together.
Special Features include :
- Critics' Commentary hosted by The Nerdist's Scott Weinberg, featuring Eric D. Snider (MovieBS), Britt Hayes (Screencrush), Samuel D. Zimmerman (Shock Till You Drop), Alison Nastasi (Flavorwire) and Eric Vespe (AICN)
- A Conversation with Film Composer Disasterpeace
- Poster Art Gallery
This film will be released on Blu-Ray/Digital HD, and DVD on July 14, 2015