“It Follows” is a hybrid of genres. It’s a scary film through and through, but it’s the dual horror of teenage boredom and ennui coupled with a strange and terrifying supernatural virus that is transmitted sexually. Coming of age and body/mind horror steeped together in an unholy mix and it is an effective brew.
Jay (Maika Monroe) is a typical, slightly bored teen living in a sleepy suburb of Detroit. There’s not much for the teens to do there except watch TV, hang out and have sex. After a one-night stand with Hugh (Jake Weary) Jay finds herself in trouble, but not “in trouble” as in pregnant. He has infected her with a curse that will cause her to see ghosts, terrifying, shape shifting visions like living nightmares that could drive her to the brink of madness. He tells her the only way to get rid of the virus is to pass it on by hitting the sack with someone else. Until then, he warns her not to let the “ghosts” touch her and “never go anywhere with only one exit.”
It would be easy to write ”It Follows” off as a teen horror, but it is much more than that. It’s a study—and a creepy one at that—of teen angst filtered through primal dread—fear of the dark, being alone, apparitions—and physical fear. An anxiety inducing synthesizer score adds to the atmosphere of unease, making this one of the most unsettling and original horror movies of the year.