It Follows (2015)

Director: David Robert Mitchell

Running Time: 100 Minutes

Starring: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi, Lili Sepe

Opening his second feature in attention-grabbling fashion, writer/director David Robert Mitchell shows a quiet neighbourhood before breaking the stillness with a panicked young woman. A tracking shot shows her running to try escaping from something unseen, before driving off in her car. Ending up at a beach, the panic grows as she makes a tearful call to her father, before the aftermath shows her body left in gruesome fashion.

Elsewhere, Jay (Maika Monroe) is excited to be dating the seemingly nice Hugh (Jake Weary). After they have sex, the intimacy turns into horror when Jay awakens tied to a wheelchair in a deserted car park. Hugh then reveals that he has passed onto her a deadly curse, visualized by a figure relentlessly walking towards her, often imitating somebody close to whoever has the curse. With the mysterious force being described as slow, yet not dumb, the only way to survive is to pass it onto somebody else through sex.

Mitchell utilizes empty spaces and figures in the distance to unsettling effect, generating tension from the lingering question of who is approaching. With the only lore shared being myths passed on from victims, the characters are left scrambling for a hope of survival within this chilling work. Maximizing the tension is the masterful score from Disasterpeace, which perfectly compliments the evocative imagery and the meticulously crafted shots.

Key to the film is Monroe's exceptional lead performance, capturing Jay's trauma at discovering death stalks her, before her terror transforms into a determination to try and overcome this sexually transmitted curse. Offering support are her friends and sister, who are only sure of their loved one's constant fear and are on-board to help her through the evident distress. Of the group, Paul (Keir Gilchrist) has the most organic feeling history with Jay while clearly carrying a torch for her. As this group exits adolescence and transitions into adulthood, they reminisce about simpler times when their mundane dreams felt so big, before encountering this nightmare.

It is no coincidence that the phantom threat often takes nude forms, embodying a horrific cycle which began for Jay without her consent and looms over as a traumatic reminder. While the premise of self-preservation offers the only solace in continuing on the cycle, the final shot draws on a lingering uncertainty of whether such a thing can truly be escaped. If anyone is curious about this modern horror classic, or have revisited the film enough times to be envious of the shell phone, it is worth picking up this Second Sight release.

It Follows is available on 4K/Blu-Ray Limited and Standard Editions now