Mario’s Movies: Flashback Films – ‘It Follows’ (2014)

By Mario Ricciardi

In Quentin Tarantino’s favorite films of 2015 list, the acclaimed director ranks a low-budget horror film called “It Follows.” The sophomore directorial effort of former editor David Robert Mitchell, Tarantino mentions that he “really liked it,” and “It was the best premise I’ve seen in a horror film in a long, long, long time.” Positive words from a director of Tarantino’s caliber should be enough to create intrigue, and to seal the deal type this into your phone:

“It Follows” is the story of Jay, an average mid-American teenager who learns that she is the latest recipient of a supernatural curse that is passed from victim to victim via sexual intercourse. The curse can manifest as either a friend or stranger and will follow the latest victim until it catches them. If it catches you, it will kill you and then proceed to hunt the previous person to carry the curse then the previous and so on.

We’ve all heard of STDs, but have you ever heard of STGs? G? What could that stand for? Think about it for a second. If you guessed ghosts, email me immediately, you deserve a personalized message of congratulations. I guess you can probably deduct why I decided to open this review with praises from Quentin Tarantino instead.

It sounds like a wacky plot, and it’s amazing that a second-time director was able to pitch this concept and receive two million dollars to produce it. Once you get past the plot in words, it’s worth checking out the trailer. In fact, you should’ve checked that out first. That’s why I followed up Tarantino’s words with the trailer link. “It Follows” really is something special. In fact, it’s the only film in recent memory that I can remember periodically Googling DVD release dates for because I was so excited to watch it again.

The film’s key feature is its aesthetically murky, dream-like Americana. Falling somewhere between John Carpenter’s original “Halloween” and the works of David Lynch. The mood “It Follows” sets is so palpable that it causes the viewer to save any attempt to analyze the logic of the film for after the credits roll.

Not quite capturing the iconography of Michael Myers or David Lynch just yet, “It Follows” still currently resides closer to the cult film side of the cinema spectrum. Although not quite underground, if you show it to any of your friends for a movie night, odds are they’ll get swept up in the synthy score and creepy tone of the film. Not to mention you’ll be in store for a some good clean scares — scares that still get me after having seen “It Follows” at least five or six times.

“It Follows” is an indie masterpiece that serves the casual filmgoer as much as the jaded cinephile.

????? (5/5 Penguins)