Jay (Maika Monroe) is a young girl living in Michigan. She swims in pools. She hangs out with her friends. She goes on dates with a handsome stranger. Soon after fucking in a steamy car her date explains that he has infected her with a viral paranoia–a looming, omnipresence that keeps one in a constant over the shoulder glance. And thus begins the horrific nail biting fear of the psychological STD thriller It Follows.
Sex is no stranger to horror. There is a long history of blood covered, panty clad teen protagonists running through our suppressed desires and collective taboos, expelling our anxieties with each scream through the angst-y suburban streets. It Follows plays upon this trope but it also quietly comments on fears of a new generation, taunting the condition of our information age: nothing is safe, someone is always watching, everything is everywhere all the time.
It Follows mixes the mundane and the supernatural, the past and the present, it accesses the legacy of genre horror to make a new, Frankenstein-like film that is truly representational of today’s open source aesthetic. It transcends decades by creating an atmospheric style that the chasing, blood, intensity–even the costumes and scratchy, oozing soundtrack–are all beautifully suspended in a strong vision that helps to smooth over some of the films narrative bumps and lull one’s senses into a completely raw, engrossed state. Every slammed door is heart stopping.
Classic horror is able to conjure up a universal timeless dread. It Follows captures this feeling but it also embodies an extremely contemporary fear, a pathos of viral connectivity that keeps us in a constant state of alertness. It is a window into the very real, infectious, looming, terror of now that we all keep on the edges of our field of vision. We are all it and we are all following.
– Donna K.