It Follows

Horror,Mystery

The most unexpected and downright unnerving fright flick in years Discuss this article

In this age of torture obsession, ironic distance and daily real-world outrage, can cinema still offer up an authentically frightening experience? Welcome to the answer. For his second feature after gentle teen comedy The Myth of the American Sleepover, American writer-director David Robert Mitchell has produced the most unexpected and downright unnerving fright flick in years, a film which riffs smartly on the classics while adding something ineffable all of its own. Imagine the nightmare of Under the Skin set on Elm Street.

We open in the heart of Michael Myers country, a down-at-heel American suburb populated by long-limbed teenage girls and their scruffy male admirers. When Jay (Maika Monroe) makes the mistake of getting together with one of the aforementioned, she finds herself followed by a mysterious, slow-moving presence that can assume any human form, including that of loved-ones.

And that’s essentially it, plot-wise: like Candyman and The Ring – both clear influences – It Follows possesses the folklorish simplicity of an urban legend, with the added spice of an unsubtle but smartly deployed metaphor. But it’s in style and tone that the film comes alive, its prowling, dreamlike atmosphere, down-to-earth performances and unerring visual confidence echoing early Terrence Malick or the best of Harmony Korine.

It’s impossible to adequately describe the haunting intensity of It Follows: this is a film that makes a virtue of silence, that lives in the shadowy spaces between the splattery kill scenes that punctuate your average stalk-and-slasher. Like its enigmatic monster, it’s both passive and relentless, familiar and terrifying, predictable and shocking – and impossible to shake off.

By Tom Huddleston
Time Out Doha,

It Follows

  • Duration: 100
  • Released: Thu, 07 May
  • Classification: PG15
  • Language: English
  • Director: David Robert Mitchell
  • Stars: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi

Add your review/feedback

Subscribe to weekender newsletter

Submit

Search

Explore by

Our favourite features