It Follows (2014)
Director(s): David Robert Mitchell
Writer(s): David Robert Mitchell
Starring: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Lili Sepe
“Hey would you two be free to watch It Follows this weekend?”
This text was sent both to me and fellow Agent Justin from (wait for it) fellow Agent Nathan. Although I consider these two fine gentleman close friends for a surprising number of years, the fact is, we don’t get to hang out too often due to the demanding mistress that is LIFE. Now, I’m a firm believer that friendship does not derive from the number hours clocked in but rather the quality of time spent when friends finally get together so when this opportunity arose to hang out with some quality chums, of course I said yes. We worked out the kinks of a busy weekend and decided to watch on a Monday night. All the while, I had no clue what move we were watching; in the midst of trying to find a time to watch the flick, I didn’t really care what we were watching in the first place. I scrolled through all the messages between the three of us and it never mentioned what kind of flick we were getting into so after some research, I was DELIGHTED when I found it that we were checking out a horror flick! It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen a horror flick with either gentleman, let alone watching one together so I decided I would go into this flick blind; meaning besides finding out this was a horror movie, I did not read a synopsis, watch a trailer or read a review.
Throughout our time here in the FEARtastic Vault, I always implore watching most of these horror flicks with friends. One of the best things I enjoy about watching horror flicks with my comrades is constantly looking over and seeing their reactions. It’s not necessarily their reactions to scares (which are pretty funny in all fairness) but it’s an experience where you can enjoy the same parts of a flick and in a way, gives you a certain validation to the aspects of what you enjoy most in watching movies. Knowing that we were all about to enjoy a horror flick, I was pretty giddy knowing that two of my buddies were about to visit a world I know far too well.
It Follows is centered on Jay (Maika Monroe), whose latest sexual encounter sets off a supernatural force that relentlessly pursues and terrorizes her to the brink of madness. From the opening credits, I immediately felt a sort of nostalgia. The feel, look and even the music brought me back to the time where direct to VHS movies ruled the horror realm. The music specifically, instantly reminded me of the opening credits to Creepshow 2; a creepy sort of vintage synth keyboard that brought a huge, goofy grin on my face. The concept of this flick though felt very new; the plot itself felt very WHOvian in the sense that taking a simple concept, such as someone following you and turning into something terrifying through a series of slow-paced burns that accumulate into a genuinely scary movie. There were plenty of jumps in this flick (made apparent with Justin’s patented, “cover your ears when you know a scary part is about to happen” strategy) but the feel itself didn’t seem to focus on the scares but the concept itself that sinks into your head and makes you think twice when walking by yourself and hear footsteps behind you.
The supporting cast adds an element to this flick that doesn’t come off as annoying but genuinely supportive. There aren’t many adults in this flick, besides the creepers following our heroine, so most of the movie focuses on her friends who take the journey with her on trying to figure out the whys and the hows of this supernatural terror. A standout in my mind is the pining friend, another victim of unrequited love, Paul played by Keir Gilchrist. He had a nice to charm to him as the friend that obviously wants to be more but he plays it in a way where it doesn’t come off desperate but valiant in a geeky sort of way. I couldn’t help but relate this character to Nathan as I whispered verbal jabs throughout the flick as Nathan sat there dishing it right back.
So between Justin’s ear-covering and Nathan’s verbal retorts, this was a fun experience outside of the flick itself which was a very strong entry into the FEARtastic Vault. As good as any horror movie could be based off the quality of kills, plot, slasher back story, etc. some great company watching the movie with you can elevate any horror movie. One can make the argument that this is true for all movies but horror movies are always better as a shared experience. It is much more fun watching everyone squirm with you in fear because scary situations only become fun when you have people to share these experiences. It’s quite simple really, for a good time:
- Turn up volume
- Grab snacks/drinks (optional)
- Turn off lights
- Play horror movie
- Add friends
Life is FAR more interesting when we take interest in things that scare us.