It Follows: after sleeping with her new boyfriend a teen picks up a curse where a shape-shifting demon will always follow her, at walking pace, until it kills her or she bangs the curse in to someone else (an STD – Sexually Transmitted Demon – if you will). It sounds like an average idea for a horror film, but the execution is outstanding: taking this one simple (but powerful) idea and drawing tension, scares, and thrills from it. Like all of the best horror pictures it also works as a thinking film, steeped in subtext and wide open to interpretation and analysis. It lets the audience consider how they would handle It – would you try to outrun it, or it pass on, or just kill yourself?!?! Shunning almost everything that makes modern horrors lazy, it boasts a nostalgic ‘classic’ suburban horror setting where people used landlines, CRT TVs, Polaroids, and eerie synth dominated the score (although they could just be modern hipsters?) Other than a couple of early ‘cattle prod’ moments, the thrills come from the atmosphere and suspense of ‘It’ – and the zombie-like relentless shuffle towards the camera. In saying that, the film could have done with a few more ‘chase’ scenes or false demons walking around; if only to capitalise on the eerie vibe sustained by the director. Also, “It” is not always following, which is weird – it’s apparently scared of water & hospitals, or just hangs around on rooftops or at the back of cinemas when it can’t be assed pursuing. The direction is very strong: solid camerawork, paired with the perfectly captured suburban and run-down areas of Detroit – which all come together to give the film an authenticity. If it wasn’t for a few flashes of gore and gratui-tits this could be the scariest PG movie ever made. IT Follows is nothing short of a miracle given the state of modern horror – Insidious 9, Paranormal Inactivity 13, Texas Chainsaw 17 – it’s genuinely atmospheric & scary, avoids cheap shocks, and lingers with you long after.
My solution: fly to another country, bang a young hooker, she passes it on almost immediately, and the curse will keep going back to said prostitute every time the unlucky john dies.