It Follows doesn’t have the star power of most of the other films that have been released this winter, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping the film from winning over hearts and minds. It Follows tells a very simple tale, which really doesn’t need the help of big-time names. In fact, this kind of film is among those that succeeds specifically because the teens involved in It Follows aren’t faces we’ve seen before.
For those who haven’t yet seen It Follows, the story centers around a kind of mysterious evil presence which haunts people by stalking them in the periphery. Even more sinister is the revelation early on that the presence is passed on to new victims through the act of sex. Written and directed by David Robert Mitchell, It Follows also wins because even the antagonist in the film isn’t something that carries a name with it.
As The Atlantic points out, the monster in this film isn’t like Freddie or Jason, the thing is simply part of a rather odd curse. At the heart of why It Follows is so foreboding is the message that sex kills, without every becoming preachy. In a rather matter of fact tone, the film centers around a boy who meets, seduces and has sex with a nice young girl (Maika Monroe) just looking for some fun and a connection. After the pair have their fun, the boy tells Monroe’s character, Jay Height that she has a curse and in order to pass the curse on she must have sex with someone else.
The caveat of the entire curse is that if the person Jay has sex with is killed by the shapeshifting monster, that monster will begin the attempts to killer her anew. The plot of It Follows works because the film presents the kind of unbeatable evil we don’t see that much in Hollywood these days. The idea for the film started as a nightmare and turned into a movie because the idea was good enough for a cast of relative unknowns to carry out to heights even the movie’s producers probably didn’t expect.
Along with a cast that is bereft of A-list names, the film is ultra-low budget. The screams, as well as the twists and turns, are pulled off because the curse and the monster that carries the curse out are not depicted with CGI. The monster and the actors of It Follows are all presented in a way that brings the scares in new and inventive ways, and that’s leading to big time success.