Fantastic Fest 2014: It Follows

Sexually transmitted horror gets an update in this mesmerizing film

Wearing its influences on its sleeve, It Follows transcends its cinematic pastiche to create a film that is evocative and creepy, with unsettling imagery and frightening atmosphere.

It Follows

Something is coming for us. It is inevitable, be it disease, disaster, or disillusionment (believe me, that can be a killer). It Follows sets up a narrative where an unstoppable force, in this case an entity that can take any human form, inexorably tracks its victims through sexual intercourse. Once this entity gets you, you’re through, as is potentially everyone back through the chain of liaisons. It’s a great hook – basically an STD come to life – one that writer/director David Robert Mitchell (The Myth of the American Sleepover) fleshes out following Jay (Maika Monroe), her sister Kelly (Lili Sepe), and their small group of friends, after Jay contracts the curse via new boyfriend Hugh (Jake Weary). That’s about all the plot you’ll get out of this review, as the film works best the less you know going in. Mitchell mixes the mood of early David Cronenberg with the brilliant mise-en-scène that John Carpenter utilized so well in his late Seventies output. It Follows has style to burn, and the cinematography, coupled with a brilliantly nuanced soundtrack keeps ratcheting up the tension in smart and creative ways. It is a mesmerizing film, one you won’t shake very easily.


It Follows screens again Wednesday, Sept. 24, 11:30pm.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Fantastic Fest
They're Here! Fantastic Fest Wave One Arrives
First Fantastic Fest 2018 Titles
Overlord, Apostle headline fest opening salvo

Richard Whittaker, July 31, 2018

Exploring <i>The Endless</i> With Benson and Moorhead
Exploring The Endless With Benson and Moorhead
Filmmakers talk science, magic, and bickering brothers

Richard Whittaker, April 20, 2018

More It Follows
<i>It Follows</i> Goes Everywhere
It Follows Goes Everywhere
Director David Robert Mitchell on finding horror in Detroit

Richard Whittaker, March 26, 2015

More by Josh Kupecki
SXSW Film Review: <i>Pink Wall</i>
Film Review: Pink Wall
Add another classic to the “Breakup Dramas” genre

March 10, 2019

SXSW Film Review: <i>Pahokee</i>
Film Review: Pahokee
Austin filmmakers catch the hopes and dreams of small-town Florida

March 9, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Fantastic Fest, Fantastic Fest 2014, It Follows, David Robert Mitchell

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle