‘It Follows’ Is The Scariest American Horror Film In Years, Started As A Nightmare [Video]

Horror flick It Follows opened yesterday on Friday the 13th (limited release), and so far, the reviews coming in from movie critics have been surprisingly positive. The horror genre isn’t typically a favorite of movie critics, but this time with It Follows, writer-director David Robert Mitchell seems to have delivered a solid effort.

In his review for It Follows, Peter Travers of Rolling Stone writes, “With the help of haunting wide-screen images from cinematographer Michael Gioulakis, the tension escalates so high we’re not sure what we’re seeing.”

The plot for It Follows might remind you of The Ring, but instead of a videotape passing along a curse, sexual encounters pass the curse on to the next person. In several of the film’s reviews, reviewers mention the freakishly chilling opening sequence. Mitchell goes for the vague kind of scares, where everyday places and objects become nightmarish. Rather than things jumping out at the audience, loud noises, and other similar scare tactics, It Follows uses creepy atmosphere.

According to Fandango, the synopsis for It Follows is the following.

“For 19-year-old Jay (Maika Monroe, THE GUEST), the fall should be about school, boys and weekends at the lake. Yet after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter she suddenly finds herself plagued by nightmarish visions.”

When the Huffington Post interviewed Mitchell, he was asked what his thoughts were on people viewing It Follows as an allegory for STDs.

“I wanted it to be something that could be shared between people and something that could come back to you. If we use sex to do that, it’s a way of connecting people — not just physically, but also emotionally — which sort of tied into some of the other themes in the movie. I had several themes in the back of my head when writing this. Any interpretation is valid. Especially for a horror film, I think that’s part of the fun of it.

“Sex is also the thing that temporarily frees you. I think sex is simply representative of life itself. It’s literally simply the act of living — it is in contrast with our mortality, on some level. That’s one of the ways I like to look at it. So, again, I think it’s fair to look at it in terms of the STD comparison. I’m not putting that down, but I also think it’s maybe more complicated than that.”

It Follows is David Robert Mitchell’s second film. He made his debut four years ago with a teen romance called The Myth of the American Sleepover, a critically acclaimed film that didn’t quite make it out of the indie circuit. The idea for It Follows came about from a recurring nightmare he began having when he was a kid about monsters taking on other identities.

In an interview with Consequence of Sound, Mitchell talked more in-depth about the nightmare that began It Follows.

“I don’t know what caused it when I was young. I know it’s an anxiety dream. I could only guess, but… it’s a fairly common anxiety dream… What am I afraid of now? I don’t know, the normal things. I think on some level, pain and illness, and death of myself and people that I love, I think those are always things that are frightening. It’s very real. I think on some level that’s the root of most of these things. That’s just my guess.”

As of this posting, Rotten Tomatoes reports 71 percent of audiences liked It Follows and 95 percent of critics have rated it positively. It Follows might just be a horror movie with a fresh new take that could follow in the footsteps of horror classics such as John Carpenter’s Halloween.

Are you planning on seeing It Follows?

[Image via YouTube]