Slow burning horror films are all the rage when it comes to film makers wanting to make a sophisticated horror film which is exactly where the film It Follows (2015) finds itself. The film follows Jay Height (Maika Monroe) who should be having fun on her break from school but ends up having an innocent sexual encounter with someone that leaves her the latest in a long string of supernatural hauntings.
A curse was passed to her in which she must pass it to someone else or risk dying herself. The only way she can pass the curse to someone else is by having sex with them. The only thing that can help her is her friends and as time passes she realizes that she can’t keep running from the curse forever.
Written and directed by David Robert Mitchell the film follows the same style of films like Teeth (2007), Contracted (2013), and I, Zombie: The Chronicles of Pain (1998), which is that of a slow burning film in which the main character are the driving force behind the story. This works in the films favor as the curse is a slow one at that as the entity that follows Jay is probably the slowest one in history. The film is definitely for the crowd that enjoys a film that takes its time and doesn’t rely on gore and blood and if you are that type of person then this is the film for you.
Now the film was one of the hugely critically acclaimed horror films of last year that left horror fans evenly divided. I can only fathom that this is because the film has a great premise only is slow at getting to the point especially since audience members probably can’t reason why Jay just doesn’t pass the curse on immediately after realizing she has it. Instead, she spends most of the film running and screaming and then running some more and screaming some more which gets repetitive. This is not an entirely negative assessment but the film is filled with dread and style that permeates through every frame of the film including the amazing score, so, I forgive the short comings of this film as it will be remembered for these aspects alone.
I took a friend of mine to go see the film who never goes to see horror films but this one was creepy and created a mood of dread while never being gory or excessively violent. She happened to love this film and I can see why so many general audiences have gravitated to the film as well. Sometimes people who watch a lot of horror films get numb and jaded since they’ve seen more than the average viewer. I believe that this film had an effect on general audiences that is undeniable and that it will resonate for years to come and I think that Mitchell is definitely a film maker to keep an eye out for in the future.