Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Movie #389: It Follows

It Follows is a horror movie starring Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi, Lili Sepe, Daniel Zovatto, and Jake Weary.

Jay (Monroe) is a college student, seeing a boy named Hugh (Weary). They have sex in his car on a date, after which he immediately drugs her, ties her to a wheelchair, and tells her that "it" is coming for her. "It" can look like a person, even one she knows, but it's not human and no one else can see it. If it catches her, it will kill her and then proceed on to Hugh. She can pass it along to someone else by sleeping with them. He recommends never going anywhere without more than one exit; "It's real slow but it's not dumb." And then he dumps her at home and fucks off.

Jay's sister Kelly (Sepe) and her friends Yara (Luccardi) and the smitten Paul (Gilchrist) don't immediately believe her, but they understand that she's freaked out by something (when the phantom starts to follow her and invades her house), so with their friend Greg (Zovatto) they head out of town to think about it. But then the phantom makes its presence known - it's not intangible, just invisible and apparently immortal. Jay sleeps with Greg who seems to avoid the phantom for a few days (there's some minor implication that he made have banged another girl immediately afterwards and passed along the phantom that way, but it's not clear), but then falls victim to it. Jay and her friends come up with a plan to lure it into a pool and electrocute it, which fails spectacularly, and finally Jay has sex with Paul. The movie ends with them walking hand in hand, someone out of focus in the background following them.

I like this movie a lot. It's original, for one thing. I mean, you could argue it draws on slasher films, but there's only one victim from the main cast, and the movie implies a lot more than it shows, which is nicely effective in psychological horror. Jay is a fun character. I enjoy that she initiates and obviously enjoys sex (and I had it in my head that Hugh was her first, but he wasn't; after she has sex with Greg she quietly mentions that they had sex in high school), and I like that while the creature is obviously sex-focused, it's not necessarily punishing people for fucking. It just...is. It's implacable and unrelenting, and it's never explained. There's not an investigation scene where Yara (who's constantly reading on her little weird seashell tablet) goes "Ha! It's an ancient Sumerian sex-demon!" No, it's just a nameless horror, and it's not interested in being defined.

Along with The Babadook, this is probably one of my favorite horror films of the last couple of years. And, because this is how I roll, I think it's a pretty perfect Chill movie.

The cast is, however, entirely white, and that's kind of disappointing.

My grade: A-
Rewatch value: Medium

Next up: Kubo & The Two Strings