Monday 19 March 2018

It Follows review: 'It reaches the new bar set by The Babadook for horror movies this decade'

George Byrne

Horror. Starring Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Lili Sepe, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi. Directed by David Robert Mitchell. Cert 16


Last year's brilliant The Babadook set a new bar for horror movies this decade and yet, six months later, that mark has been reached by It Follows.

Apparently inspired by a childhood nightmare of director David Robert Mitchell's, in which he was being followed by some relentless, slow-moving entity which never stopped coming after him, this takes several well-worn horror tropes, jumbles them up, adds several original ingredients and comes up with a truly terrifying experience.

The film opens with a terrified teenage girl running out of her suburban house and onto a street while her father shouts after her. We can't see what's panicking her as the camera pans around until she gets into her car and drives to a lake where, utterly scared and defeated, she calls her parents, leaves a tearful message and we cut to daylight and her mutilated corpse lying by the shore.

It's a bravura and devastating opening before we meet Jay (Maika Monroe), about to head to college and dating Hugh (Jake Weary). Alas, after they have sex she's informed that he's passed on a deadly curse to her which will follow her until she can pass it on to someone else. To reveal any more would be unfair but, safe to say, there are echoes of The Ring and early John Carpenter movies.

The film is great too on providing Jay with the support of a group of believable friends, is not without occasional flashes of dark humour and truly original in scaring the audience with the way the entity manifests itself.

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