IT FOLLOWS (USA/16/100mins) Directed by David Robert Mitchell. Starring Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi, Lili Sepe, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Linda Boston, Ruby Harris, Debbie Williams. THE PLOT: It’s Detroit, and teenager Jay (Monroe) has finally gotten down to doing the do with Hugh (Weary), her boyfriend of just a few weeks. Only trouble is, after they have sex, Hugh reveals to Jay that he has given her something. And, unfortunately for Jay, it’s not sexual. It’s spiritual. As in, an evil spirit, a shapeshifter that will walk at a steady pace after Jay until, hey, she manages to have sex with someone else, thus passing it on. Which, for a hot young blonde teenage girl in Detroit, should take all of about 4 minutes. With Hugh – who’s really called Jeff – explaining that should Jay be killed, the curse will bounce back to him, they hatch a plan to kill the follower. After Jay sleeps with an old boyfriend. And a poor schmuck who’s always had a crush on her. THE VERDICT: A plot idea inspired by a recurring dream writer/director David Robert Mitchell had as a kid, about a relentless, slow predator, IT FOLLOWS follows in the tradition of HALLOWEEN, THE TERMINATOR and so many other horror and sci-fi classics. The sweet twist here is having the seemingly unstoppable killer take on many identities, sometimes someone known to the fleeing victim, sometimes not. Which means the victim – and the audience – can never be sure of anyone who walks into frame. It works like a charm when it comes to the slow creep, as this, well, slow creep could be looking straight at you, right now.
What IT FOLLOWS has to say about the difference between men and women’s attitude towards sex is nicely pointed too, as Jay finds her loving boyfriend quickly dumping her, and quipping that she’ll find another sexual partner in no time because she’s “pretty”. Truly, women can fake orgasms, and men can fake whole relationships. RATING: 4/5 Review by Paul Byrne