Although I am probably nitpicking here, I believe there is a difference between horror films and thrillers. The fun in watching a thriller is the intensity, uncertainty, fear, and weird (usually in the guise of a supernatural happening). The fun in watching a horror film is all about blood, gore, violence, and monsters. And it is by these definitions that I find horror to be so undesirable of a genre. It Follows is a much more intelligent film than slashers or horror movies of old. Yet I must recognize that it is only because of the work in older horror movies that the modern thrillers can even exist. After all, the thriller genre is simply a modification of the horror genre. I do feel that Thrillers have found their own two feet and do deserve to be classified apart from horror. And It Follows is one of those films that sets the thriller genre apart.
The story of It Follows is a simple one. A young girl named Jay has sex with the boy she has been dating and unknowingly has become the heir to the supernatural being known only as “It.” The boy explains to Jay that this being will follow her, can look like anyone, and will kill her if she allows it to touch her. His advice is to just pass it on. He explains, “Just sleep with someone else and tell him to do the same thing.”
This movie has been heavily criticized because of its seemingly pro-abstinence point of view. However, I feel that is an over simplification of the deeply nuanced critique this film offers of sex among American teenagers. Clearly this film is one that has a lot to say about sex. It Follows offers critiques of rape and how people handle it, the difference in attitudes about sex between boys and girls, and even the part that sex plays in meaningful lasting relationships.
It Follows is a unique take on the thriller genre. It is beautifully shot, with believable performances from all its members, and a frightening story made even creepier by the fact that most of it takes place in broad daylight. I would recommend this film to all fans of the genre and people who love well-crafted films.
I would add one simple caveat, there are some intense and graphic scenes that are not suitable for all viewers. So please be aware of that when viewing this film. Otherwise, see this movie and enjoy.