Have you ever wanted to see a movie people were raving about only to finally see it and wonder if you were watching the same thing they were? The last time this happened to me was with We Are What We Are. And yes, It Follows was that type of film for me. The plot focuses on some kind of curse handed down through intercourse that works on a chain letter principal so that you have to pass it a long or die. The opening of the film sees our heroine Jamie (Maika Monroe) having a one night stand in the back seat of a car, and have the encounter end as all one night stands do by being chloroformed, tied to a chair, and told she is now the recipient of a hellish STD she must pass on.
From that point on, Jamie hangs out with her friends, sees visions of half naked/fully nude people/ordinary people in tank tops that terrify her but none of her friends can see. The majority of the tension of the film is based around Jamie pointing at the visions and asking her friends if they can see it. They of course, can not, and this doesn’t change through the films run time. Without a steady face to place on the “curse” in each of it’s incarnations, it makes the case that anyone could be the curse. Which leads to infected characters pointing at joggers and pedestrians wondering if their friends can see them as well. The guises the curse takes aren’t especially terrifying (ohhh there’s a woman with her titty hanging out — SPOOKY…), the times the friends acknowledge they can see an asshole in a track suit kills any sense of tension or ability to take the film seriously. Oh, and the invisible ghost people, they can be shot.
To say I was unimpressed with this film is an understatement. I really wanted to like it. It’s well shot and writer/director David Mitchell really wants to be the next John Carpenter. With a better script, he might actually succeed. Visually, it’s an amazing film, even though the Halloween inspiration for the mise en scene is obvious, and the blood in the pool is cool to look at. The Carpenter-esque score is phenomenal and helps elevate the film in ways the story can not. There is a sense of talent on display that I must give credit too, I just wish Mitchell had the same finesse when it came to his script.