It Follows (2014)

It’s a simple idea: you have sex with someone, and the creature passes along to you. It takes many forms, but only people who have been affected can see it. It never stops following the most recent victim until they are dead or pass it along. If you pass it along but that person is killed, then it starts following you again.

So, what does it mean? An STD? Societal pressure and prejudice regarding sexuality? The loss of innocence and realizing your own mortality? See it how you want. Because it changes how it looks and comes after you in the worst possible ways, but it is coming, and maybe you’ll see it, maybe you won’t, until the end.

I loved this movie. Like flat out loved it. Everything about it works, from the amazing cinematography and use of static shots or background images to build a sense of dread that anyone walking toward you could be the horrible inevitable to the synth score that feels like the more adult version of a 1980s throwback. It sounds like the remake of Maniac to me; that’s a good thing. Soundtrack was the greatest element there (seriously, the Maniac soundtrack is boss), and it’s a key element here, reaching back to youthful days of innocence but also granting an edge. You’ve heard this before, but it’s darker now. It’s grown up.

The actors also all give great performances, full of despair, fear, jealousy, and genuine concern. Notice the parents never get involved. It’s like any of a bunch of kid/teen movies from the 1980s where the youths are forced to confront something horrid, be it the criminals of The Goonies, the monsters of Monster Squad, the demons of The Gate…only the kids are older now, in high school or college, and dealing with their sexuality while still fending off the terrible things that plague them.

It Follows is a throwback but also an update in the best way possible. Just keep an eye out when you watch it. You’ll start to notice just how unsafe you really are.

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