"It doesn't think. It doesn't feel. It doesn't give up" in It Follows. This supernatural horror film written and directed by David Robert Mitchell. After a strange sexual encounter, a teenager finds herself haunted by nightmarish visions and the inescapable sense that something is after her.
Mitchell conceived the film based on recurring dreams he had in his youth about being followed. The role that sexual transmission plays came later, from Mitchell's desire for something that could transfer between people. In 2011, Mitchell started writing the script, while working on a separate film he intended to be his second feature film; however, Mitchell struggled with this would-be second feature and made the project as his next film instead. Mitchell realized that the concept he was working on was tough to describe and thus refused to discuss the plot when asked what he was working on. By September 2013, Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary and Olivia Luccardi were cast. At the same time, with a budget of $1.3 million, principal photography commenced and took place in Berkley, Clawson, Detroit, Northville, Sterling Heights and Troy, Michigan. Mitchell used wide-angle lenses when filming to give the film an expansive look, and cited the works of George Romero and John Carpenter as influences on the film's compositions and visual aesthetic. The film's monster, shot composition and overall aesthetic were influenced by the work of contemporary photographer Gregory Crewdson.
The film stars Monroe, Gilchrist, Zovatto, Weary and Luccardi. Monroe is excellent both as the unwilling victim of a killer sexually-transmitted disease and the final girl ever present beneath her earnest veneer.
A dark, entertaining thriller that's familiar but still inventive in all the right places. If nothing else, it shows Monroe should be a huge horror star. The film is a throwback to 1970s and 1980s slashers and thrillers but instead of copying their plots it has some fun. If the film were a colour it would be the neon blue of its title card: a little bit show-off, a little bit retro, but it'll definitely brighten your night. With a sexy soundtrack and callbacks to 1980s films like Halloween (1978) and, other John Carpenter scores, this overlooked gem is worth checking out. The film is more about exploring the nightmarish consequences of sexually-transmitted diseases than getting into pre-marital sex. Even though fueled entirely on Monroe's charisma and its synth score, the film starts out intriguing until you realise the film and its protagonist are utterly vacant. It's not a particularly brilliant conceit, but, not unlike Monroe's beautifully one-note performance, it's evocative nevertheless -- lending the whole movie an aura of pop inevitability, turning its blunt predictability into something of a virtue. Still, the screenplay knows just when to create more menace and move on, and it escalates the craziness right up to the breaking point. I will be keeping an eye out for more films directed by Mitchell. From what I have seen of his work Mitchell perfectly blends horror, suspense, a new kind of threat, amazing music, and a strong female character.