Sundance audiences this year were treated to the small, independent horror film "It Follows." Nothing but rave reviews flooded the film across the internet, and although I wasn't sucked in by the premise at first, I watched the trailer and was immediately intrigued. I had to see what the buzz was about. Not only is "It Follows" a genuinely creepy film with plenty of scares and barely an ounce of blood dropped, but it is the smartest horror film to come out in years.
Nineteen-year-old Jay (Maika Monroe, following in the footsteps of Jamie Lee Curtis in "Halloween" and Neve Campbell in "Scream" as the next horror queen) lives the life of a typical teenage girl. She goes to school, has a solid group of friends, and lives in a comfortable home. After a seemingly innocent sexual encounter with the guy she's dating, she is immediately told that she is going to be followed by a supernatural force that can appear as someone she knows or just a random stranger on the street. The only way to rid of it is to have sexual intercourse with someone else.
That's all I want to say about this film. In fact, in some ways, I feel like I have given away too much already. Going into "It Follows" knowing nothing or very little makes experiencing this film even more exciting. Do yourself a favor and don't even watch the trailer.
One thing to make note of is the brilliant, chilling score by Rich Vreeland (as Disasterpeace). This is the most frightening and memorable music in a horror film since the likes of "Halloween," "Psycho," and "The Exorcist." It makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. It certainly helps to sit in a movie theater with the booming speakers on either side of you.
Another thing to note are the teenagers in the film. Typically, many young actors are cast in horror films simply as set pieces set up to be killed later on. Not in "It Follows." Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi, Daniel Zovatto, and Lili Sepe all bring a likability to each of their characters. They are convincing as a group of friends working together to stop this unknown force.
"It Follows" should be the model example of future horror films to come. It does not rely on cheap jump scares, tons of blood, or shallow characters who continuously make bad choices in order to provide death scenes. It moves at a slow enough pace to make us care about the characters and build suspense, yet it never feels slow and leaves you wanting more.