DreadWorld Review: 'It Follows' (2015)


"Hurry up and finish..." It's the "REDRUM" of my current existence. It repeats over and over in my tiny little skull, bludgeoning me from the inside out. "Hurry up and finish...hurry up and finish..." Hurry up and finish what you may ask? Well, watching and reviewing all the films that everyday life caused us to miss around the DW offices the prior year. Once that is done we can publish out best of 2015 and move onto 2016, where I'm sure we will find ourselves in the same predicament at the end of December that we found ourselves in this year. But we owe it to you, the devoted reader, to try and cover as much as humanly possible around here. With that in mind let's launch into the next (and probably last) truncated review of a film from 2015 that we should have reviewed month ago. Ladies and gentlemen a few words on...It Follows.

Annie runs from her house from an unseen horror. She turns up dead on a beach her body maimed and brutally disfigured. Jay takes a swim in her pool and after a drive and some quick making out decides to have sex with her boyfriend, Hugh. But it's all a ruse, Hugh doesn't love her, in fact "Hugh" is not even his real name. Something is hunting "Hugh" and the only way he can get rid of it is to pass it along to Jay creating a buffer between his tormentor. "Hugh" is kind enough to share the rules of what is happening with Jay, which is the only thing that saves her life.

What follows is one of the most tension filled cinematic rides of the year. As Jay struggles with what is stalking her, her sexuality, her morality, and her mortality, we are taken on an emotional roller coaster rarely found in a horror film.

Written and directed by David Robert Mitchell, It Follows is one of the most unsettling films in recent memory. It narrative is tight and focused and never really gives you a chance to breathe. Mitchell adds to the films uncomfortable feeling by really messing with our heads. In what's clearly a conscious effort on Mitchells part, he sets the film in some ambiguous time where all technology, future and past, exists at the same time. It's jarring and never lets you get tot point where you can settle in to the film.

Mitchells jarring aesthetic is buoyed by the excellent performance from Maika Munroe, who you might remember as one of the many highlights of Adam Wingards The Guest. Munroe is able to give Jay a gravitas and a heaviness that would have caused most actresses to crumble. Never once does Munroes Jay come off as "silly" or "shallow." Each decision she makes seems (rightfully) like a gut wrenching Sophies choice between her morality and her mortality.

One of the (many) other strengths of It Follows is its soundtrack. From the mind of Disasterpeace (Rich Vreeland) the soundtrack is more Goblin than anything Goblin has produced since the 70's. And it fits the unknown, uneasy nature of a film to a T.

It Follows will not be for everyone. It's a little light on the gore, and the body count it light - especially for what's at its heart a classic stalk and slash film. However, other than that minor, and it really is minor, It Follows is a tremendous film, filled with enough tension to fill...I don't know a very large bucket, or something. It doesn't matter because It Follows is one of the best horror films of the year.

**** 1/2 stars of *****

That's it for me. As always: Thanks for reading and "Enjoy Every Sandwich."

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