Movie review: “It Follows” delivers the heebie jeebies

What It’s About

“It Follows” might seem like your typical teens in peril horror story, but writer-director David Robert Mitchell has raised the bar with his stylish techniques.

Mitchell has infused a familiar genre with a fresh take, creating a believable nightmarish world that makes the situations even more terrifying. He reels you in right from the start, with disturbing images and creepy original music by Disasterpeace.

Pretty blonde Jay (Maika Monroe) is a 19-year-old student whose life drastically changes after a date that goes horribly wrong. She is warned that she will be followed, and the apparitions can only be seen by her.

Surrounded by a group of supportive yet perplexed friends, she escapes to a friend’s lakehouse but no change of scenery can prevent the horrible visions and relentless stalking. Oh, what a regrettable sexual encounter has conjured up.

To evade the frightful followers, they try various scenarios, but the sinister forces are always just a few steps behind.


While no one appears headed to Julliard, the teen actors are effective at portraying authentic kids in trouble.

As Jay, Monroe grounds the production as someone plunged into a hellish universe, and she’s natural and engaging. We root for her.

What Works

Mitchell provides true chills and a few jumps by masterfully building tension, reminiscent of John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween” and early Alfred Hitchcock. He has worked magic with an obvious low budget, piling on the dread with inventive choices.

A suburban Detroit neighborhood becomes his canvas for a series of fright nights, where he ramps up the terror through savvy editing, smart camera angles and judicious use of one of the spookiest soundtracks in recent memory.

The film was a sensation at last spring’s Cannes Film Festival, and definitely has announced Mitchell as an emerging talent.

What Doesn’t Work

The movie sputters its second half, few adults are in sight, and the ending is somewhat of a letdown. But overall, “It Follows” is one of the most original scary movies in years. It’s not perfect, but it delivers the heebie jeebies.

I’m keeping the lights on. He makes you believe in the Bogeyman.