I didn’t know what to expect when we started watching It Follows one dark winter evening. As a massive fan of classic horror, I had low expectations for this movie. They tend to steer towards some kind of new innovation, be technology themed or contain lots of gore. I’m down with all but the latter, so I hoped this wouldn’t turn into some kind of zombie-fest.
But It Follows pleasantly surprised me. This is a slow burner of a movie. It’s intelligent and leaves a lot to your imagination, which you’ll probably agree can be the scariest place to be. It starts with the main character, Jay, meeting and dating her new boyfriend. They sleep together and everything seems calm and relaxed on a balmy summer evening. Until he kidnaps her, ties her to a rusty wheelchair takes her to an disused warehouse. Here he explains to her that he has passed on some kind of curse to her, via their sexual encounter. This curse means she is followed where ever she goes by figures that only she and those afflicted can see, and if they get hold of her they’ll kill her. If this happens they will start to follow him again, and so on down the line.
She then has to work out what to do, and whether to sleep with someone else to pass the curse on again, knowing that it’s possible this might kill him. Needless to say she has a few male friends who are willing to take the risk for her. Kind of sweet, kind of sleazy. With the help of her friends, they try and work through this huge turn her life has taken. The movie continues in a swathe of anxiety in dangerous world where anyone she sees could be out to get her.
It’s a whole big thing, and as the viewer you have to be prepared to accept the curse exists. This movie leaves a lot to the imagination, but it can still shock you. It’s so John Carpenter, all the way down to the music. The characters, and their wardrobe, could have been straight out of a 70s flick, and I’m still not sure when it’s set, though will the inclusion of a few bits of technology and shiny cars I’m only to assume it’s set in present day.
The movie moves on slowly, but you don’t need it to go any faster. It’s the classic horror idea of the chased can run away, but the baddy only walks menacingly towards the victim slowly, enough to cause anxiety and concern that they’ll still be able to strike somehow. I love a movie that grabs my attention, and makes me think. This was one of them. Apart from wishing I could still pull off shorts and long socks without looking like mutton dressed as lamb, and wondering where these teenagers are finding the money for pretty pink satin underwear, I found myself thoroughly intrigued by the concept of this film. Plus parts of it were just darn scary!
This is definitely one I’m going to watch again, and if you’re a fan of John Carpenter’s classics, but want to see something new, then this is one for you.