Director: David Robert Mitchell
Starring: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Lili Sepe, Daniel Zovatto, Olivia Luccardi
In his sophomore feature, David Robert Mitchell has managed to create something genuinely disturbing. It Follows proves that in an age when people keep on insisting that horror is dead, there are still filmmakers out there who are keeping the wonderful genre alive. Good horror never dies; much like the living dead, incessantly coming back to terrorise us once more.
The film’s essential premise is a unique one: the idea of a sexually transmitted disease taking on the form of a person slowly following you, until it eventually catches you, or you pass it on by having sex with another poor unsuspecting victim. It Follows, well, follows the story of a young woman, Jay, brilliantly portrayed by Maika Monroe, who becomes the victim of this particular nasty STD. She, along with the help of her friends, has to find a way to either pass on the virus, or destroy it all together.
It could look like someone you know or it could be a stranger in a crowd. Whatever helps it get close to you.
After watching this film you probably won’t want to have sex for a while, and you’ll probably go to your nearest clinic just to have that check-up you’ve been putting off for a while now. It Follows’ principal idea is an interesting one, especially in today’s society where STDs such as HIV and AIDS are causing so much pain and suffering.
Catching an STD is terrifying in its own right, yet writer/director David Robert Mitchell takes it that step further, by giving the virus a physical presence. The fact that this particular STD can simply take on the form of any person; it can be a crazy-looking old woman, a naked man standing on a roof, or even someone you know and love dearly, makes it that much more frightening. This, along with the fact that it will slowly, as the title suggests, follow you, gives it that sinister quality which so many horror films lack nowadays.
The film brings together everything that is so great about the horror genre; a fantastic central idea which creates genuinely frightening and unsettling moments, with an added sense of humour which is so vital to this sort of film. Mitchell clearly knows his horror; people have already made comparisons to some of John Carpenter’s early work, such as Halloween, The Fog and even to a certain extent The Thing, and there are even some strands of DNA from The Shining in this film.
Once the film is over, you won’t be able to leave the cinema without constantly checking over your shoulder to make sure that no-one is following you, and when you eventually hear those footsteps behind you, your heart will start pounding and you will start to walk that bit quicker.