*** out of ****
I admire the horror thriller It Follows more for what it strives for than what it actually accomplishes. Don't get me wrong, this is not a bad movie – it's actually pretty good – but it left me not entirely satisfied.
It Follows is about a murderous entity that is tagged to a person through a sexual encounter. College teen Jay (Maika Monroe) sleeps with her new beau (Jake Weary). He then ties her up and explains that he gave this “thing” to her, which takes the form of a person, morphing into either strangers or loved ones, and it walks slowly but persistently toward you. If it catches you it will kill you. Obviously, Jay doesn't take this well and recruits her family and friends to help her escape from the clutches of this monster.
It Follows plays like a nightmare and with all the illogical “logic” of a nightmare, and that is when the movie is at its most creepily effective. On the other hand, the film is a bit shaky when trying to explain the “It” and its purpose. What I got is that this entity is a walking PSA for safe, monogamous sex.
Because we don't understand what this thing is, attempts to destroy it don't make much sense. I don't want an origin tale, for the randomness of, say, both the original Halloween and the first Paranormal Activity is so much more terrifying, but I think a little more theorizing by the characters about this thing would have helped.
Still, writer/director David Robert Mitchell has crafted a thinking person's horror film that is rife with subtext about sexual awakening and fear of adulthood.