Nightmares. We have all had the kind of nightmare where someone is stalking us, getting closer and closer and closer. Luckily, we almost always wake up seconds before it gets too close. But then we lie in bed, staring at the ceiling, afraid to fall back to sleep. It’s not over yet because you know the second you close your eyes again you will fall right back into the nightmare. It is inescapable. This is that movie. This is all of your worst fears.
I have been anticipating this movie for longer than I could stand, waiting for the day it would be released in theatres in my small town. There is something special about seeing a movie like this in theatres. It is an experience I will always remember and look back on ten years from now and get to say, “I saw that in theatres.” I will be able to say this because that is the kind of legacy that It Follows will leave. This will be a timeless masterpiece and it has already changed the way the world views horror movies.
Terrifying music pounding in my ears, my chest thumping, my eyes bulging. I gripped the grimy movie theater seat beneath my hands, watching the opening scene as a scantily clad young woman in heels runs in fear from something unknown. As cliché as this woman sounds, she is far from it. This horror movie is unlike anything ever created before, yet somehow it feels familiar, like an homage to John Carpenter. It has a throw-back, retro-ness to it and feels precisely modern all at the same time.
You have probably read different reviews about the premise. If you haven’t seen it yet, the basic foundation of the film follows a young woman (played by Maika Monroe from The Guest) as she is haunted by nightmarish visions after a strange sexual encounter. It Follows is about a monster; and it’s not about a monster. It’s about sexually transmitted diseases; and at the same time, not. It’s about life. It’s about death. Whichever theme prevails, the answer is in the eye of the beholder. That’s what makes a great film though- one that leads to argument and discussion. One thing, for certain, can be agreed upon though: the fact that filmmaker David Robert Mitchell has created a true living nightmare.
The visually-striking and harrowing naked imagery leaves the viewer riddled with fear and anxiety. Mitchell has created a film that, at its essence, is essentially about fear. At least, this is how I interpret it. I guess this is less of a review and more of my experience with the film. On a side note: there were four kids probably under the age of twelve who snuck into the theatre and I couldn’t stop thinking about how freaked out I would be if I saw this film at their age. It Follows will be how Halloween, Friday the 13th and The Shining affected me as a child, forever ingrained in my brain and subconscious. I think it would be impossible to leave this film not feeling some sort of emotion – fear, being a predominant one.
It Follows is one of the biggest independent horror film success stories and I am happy to be able to witness the dawning of a new age in horror films. Mitchell has given a much needed injection of originality to the often stagnant genre that is horror. Last year it was The Babadook, but this year the must-see is It Follows.