It Follows Blu-ray review
College student Jay Height (Maika Monroe, Adam Wingard’s THE GUEST) floats in her pool. It’s a moment of peace for her. And even when her ears are enveloped by water, she is aware of her surroundings: when the bushes in the backyard move, she knows it’s just the neighborhood boys peeping on her.
She goes to the movies with a boy named Hugh (Jake Weary, ZOMBEAVERS), who points out a woman in a white dress in the back of the auditorium. Jay doesn’t see her, which prompts Hugh to dart from theater. They meet again a few nights later and have sex in his car. After being incapacitated, Jay wakes up later tied to a wheelchair.
Hugh informs her of what has happened and what will happen: “This thing, it’s gonna follow you. Somebody gave it to me and I passed it to you back in the car. It can look like someone you know or it can be a stranger in a crowd. Whatever helps it get close to you.” He tells her that she can pass “it” along by sleeping with someone else. Should “it” kill her, the curse will pass back to him. Immediately, one wonders how long it will be before Jay ends up like the girl in the opening sequence, far from help and with her leg bent backwards.
How Hugh found this out is a mystery. So, too, is much of what occurs in IT FOLLOWS, the second feature from David Robert Mitchell (2010’s THE MYHT OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER). Answers don’t come because they don’t need to. Why is “it” following Jay exactly? What is “it?” It doesn’t matter, but “it” does. For IT FOLLOWS to work, the viewer must let go of any requirement for concrete explanations. Since there is no compulsion from Mitchell to reveal, they must accept so the film can be a scary as it truly is.
Indeed, IT FOLLOWS is an unnerving film, one where the audience can’t possibly yell “Don’t go in there!” because they don’t know if “it” is in there or not. Much of its effectiveness comes from the directors and works that were surely influences on Mitchell. For example, when Jay stares out of the window and sees a menacing figure, it recalls Jamie Lee Curtis doing the same in HALLOWEEN. (There is even a hint of JAWS in how the feeling of “it” is seldom/never really seen but is accompanied by ominous music—the score, by Disasterpeace, is one of the most tingling in its genre in years.)
IT FOLLOWS never resorts to cheap tactics to spook the audience. Instead, before the film is even halfway in, even at the calmest moments, the viewer is looking over their shoulder. Mitchell’s sophomore feature is a reminder that not all horror flicks coming out are found-footage garbage or unwelcome reboots. Some, like IT FOLLOWS, are reason for aficionados to be on the lookout.
IT FOLLOWS premiered at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.
Video: 2.40:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. Details are strong, colors are accurate and the black levels are deep and effective.
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. Subtitles in English and Spanish. Dialogue is clean, sound effects aid in the scares and Disasterpeace’s score serves the mood nicely.
Critics’ commentary hosted by Scott Weinberg: Weinberg and critics Eric D. Snider, Britt Hayes, Samuel D. Zimmerman, Alison Nastasi and Eric Vespe (separately) gush about and offer their thoughts on IT FOLLOWS.
A Conversation with Film Composer Disasterpeace (4:55): Disasterpeace discusses his career and how he came to score IT FOLLOWS.
Poster Art Gallery