it follows | david robert mitchell | maika monroe | olivia luccardi | lili sepe | mystery | united states | monster | creature | keir gilchrist | daniel zovatto | jake weary | bailey spry | carollette phillips | loren bass | charles gertner | debbie williams
Film: It Follows
Director: David Robert Mitchell
Writer: David Robert Mitchell
Starring: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist and Olivia Luccardi
This film is one that I rented after no longer working at Family Video. I believe my buddy and I watched this with another movie that night. After that initial viewing, I liked it, but wasn’t sure fully what I had seen. I’ve caught part of this another time with my family, but hadn’t seen it all the way through for a long time. I am now as part of the Summer Series for The Podcast Under the Stairs. The synopsis is a young woman is followed by an unknown supernatural force after a sexual encounter.
We begin with a young woman running out of her house. She is wearing heels and pajamas. A woman asks her if she is okay and she tells her she is. Her father comes outside and asks her the same thing. She goes back inside her house and then comes back out with car keys. She drives off to a beach where she takes a call from her daughter. She apologizes and the next morning we see that she’s dead in a violent way.
The movie then takes us to Jay Height (Maika Monroe) who is hanging out in her swimming pool. There are some neighborhood boys that are spying on her and she says something to them. She goes inside where her sister of Kelly (Lili Sepe) is hanging out with her friends Yara (Olivia Luccardi) and Paul (Keir Gilchrist). It should be pointed out here that Paul is in love with Jay.
Jay is seeing an older guy by the name of Hugh (Jake Weary). They’re in to see a movie, but they leave before it starts. He sees a woman in a yellow dress, but Jay doesn’t. She is concerned why he’s as bothered as he is. They end up going out to dinner and then have sex in his car.
Things take a dark turn afterwards when Hugh puts something over Jay’s mouth and knocks her out. She wakes up tied to a wheelchair. He tells her that he has passed something to her and that it will now follow her. He gives her the rules which are not to let it touch her. It walks slowly, but it will never stop. He also says that she needs to sleep with someone so it will stop following her. She needs to pass it on, because if it catches her, then he will become the target again.
Hugh then drops Jay off at her home while her sister and friends are sitting outside. They help her and the police are notified. When she goes to school, she sees an old woman walking toward her while in class. She then sees her in a school hallway, but no one sees her though. Jay then flees.
She thinks she is going crazy. Paul offers to stay over to watch over her and make sure nothing happens. Yara also comes over to stay the night as well. A window is broken in the kitchen that night while Jay and Paul are talking. It ends with Jay being chased from the house. The three friends meet her in a park while she sits on a swing. Greg Hannigan (Daniel Zovatto) who lives across the street also shows up and offers his help.
The group then tries to figure out who Hugh really is and how they can stop this thing from following Jay. Not everyone fully believes until there’s another encounter on the beach. Can she figure out how to stop this creature before it is too late? Or will she decide to share this curse with someone else?
That is where I want to leave my recap. I was reading over my original review and it appears that I learned of this movie from its trailer. Something else that I saw was that this movie was based on older horror. What is interesting though is that this movie has a timeless feel. It is set in Detroit in neighborhoods that are a bit rundown. We are seeing older televisions being watched, but Yara has this futuristic clamshell that she reads books on. I like that we’re getting a movie that feels like a throwback while still being set in a more modern era.
Where I should go next is the major concept/theme of this movie. At its core it is a coming of age tale. We have Jay who is seeing an older guy. There is a line that is dropped later in the movie that she might not actually be a virgin. I have a tough time believing that with what happens between her and the guy she supposedly slept with. Regardless, I know the major idea behind this is Jay losing her innocence by sleeping with Hugh. This causes her to be followed by this creature. I did hear from a podcaster on the Summer Series episode that they don’t necessarily think this is about STDs, but more about how becoming an adult gets you closer to death. That is closer to how I read this movie that Jay has lost her innocence and now is struggling with the realizations of needing to survive.
The thing in this movie is interesting. It doesn’t have a permanent form. It can look like someone you know or someone you don’t, whatever it can to get close to you. I think this is creepy as it allows the movie to use different actors to play it. We get things like Greg’s mom or Jay’s deceased father. We get this man that is quite tall, an older woman and heck, even Greg himself. On the television there are a couple of different old Sci-Fi movies that are playing that deal with aliens that are monsters. I think that is an interesting touch there as this entity is unknown. They don’t know how to stop it, no one is really an expert on it and they’re just doing things they think will help. I think this idea that no matter what they do, it continues to follow them.
A major part of this movie though is the acting. I think that Monroe does a great job as Jay. She is this younger woman that is coming into womanhood. She is faced with a horrible decision that she didn’t necessarily agree to. I know there are a couple things she may or may not do that would make her a villain. When it comes to surviving though, I can’t fault her. I like Gilchrist as this guy who will do anything for her. I’ve been in his position. The stakes haven’t been this high, but I’ve been put in the friend-zone. I like Sepe and Luccardi in their minor roles along with Weary and Zovatto. I do want to give credit to everyone that plays the entity as well. They all bring this creepiness to it that works for me.
Then I believe the last things to talk about are the effects, cinematography and the soundtrack. For the effects, the movie does use some CGI. There isn’t a lot of it though. What we do get is there to enhance some things which work for me. I do like the make-up that is used on the creature as well. I do know we get some CGI during some of the attack scenes, but I like what they do with it. The cinematography is well done as well. We linger on things to give character to the rundown area they’re living in. I do have a gripe that the movie runs a bit long if I’m going to be honest. What I don’t have issues with though is the soundtrack. It has a great synth feel that just adds another layer to this movie. I’ve listened to it a few times and it is one of the better ones from the last decade to me.
So then in conclusion here, I think we are getting a different take on a story we’ve seen before and that works. I like that we have this entity that we don’t know about and no one is really an expert on it. The acting works well in bringing these characters to life. I think that the effects and the cinematography are good. The soundtrack is great. If I have an issue, I think the movie goes on a bit long. There is a lull in the middle that makes sense while it also could be trimmed. Regardless though, I think this is a great movie in my opinion. It is one that I definitely recommend.
My Rating: 9 out of 10