Reviewed by: Liz Watkins
horror story used as a metaphor for significant physical danger of sexually transmitted diseases amoung promiscuous people—consequences of unprotected sex with multiple illicit partners
How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer
death of friend
boyfriend girlfriend relationships—What is true love?
|Featuring:||Maika Monroe … Jay
Keir Gilchrist … Paul
Olivia Luccardi … Yara
Lili Sepe … Kelly
Daniel Zovatto … Greg
Jake Weary … Hugh
Linda Boston … Teacher
Ruby Harris … Mrs. Redmond
|Director:||David Robert Mitchell|
|Producer:||Northern Lights Films
The story is about Jay, a late-teens girl living in a quiet suburb of Detroit. She dates Hugh, who seems a nice, average guy, until he chloroforms her one night after they have sex in his car.
Jay awakes tied to a wheelchair in an abandoned parking garage. Hugh tells her that he has passed “it” on to her, and it will never stop coming for her until she passes it to someone else. Hugh shows her an eerie woman in the distance walking slowly towards them. From then on, Jay begins to see strange figures of people walking slowly towards her that no one else seems to see. With the help of her sister and two friends, Jay must find a way to eliminate the curse before she becomes the next victim.
“It Follows” may sound like the numerous teen-cursed horror films that are out today, but it is surprisingly original and definitely memorable. To start, the filming and cinematography are amazing. Many of the scenes are shot as a throwback to 1970s and 80s horror films, including the synthesized, creepy music. The scenery is eerie and beautiful, at the same time. The film is generally quiet; there is little dialog and only two loud “jump” scenes. The film relies on suspense and viewer anxiety, rather than cheap scares and gore.
This film also leaves you with many underlying themes to think about—which is also a rare horror film quality. From a Christian viewpoint, we would view Jay as promiscuous; she has casual sex with her boyfriend and refers to previous times with other guys. The “it” that follows Jay is passed on through sex. While possibly not the filmmaker’s intent, this movie serves as a warning against casual sex. Jay also must consider sleeping around with others to pass the curse on. The “it” can be viewed as a stigma that follows those who are casual with sex and are tainted by their promiscuous lifestyle.
Jay and her friends also lack parental supervision and involvement. In fact, Jay’s mother is heard but never seen. Jay has no one to turn to but her friends, who are almost as clueless as she is about how to deal with the situation.
Thankfully, we have someone in life that we can turn to when we are lacking in advice or feel we have sins that we can never get past. Jay tries to find love and affection in casual flings to replace what she is lacking at home. I think many teenagers today probably feel the same way. They are looking for love in all the wrong places. Isaiah 55:6-7 states:
“Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake their ways
and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.” (NIV)
The “it” that follows Jay in this film can be seen as many things. As a Christian, I chose to see it as a representation of the sin we have not yet given to God because we feel we deserve it. We sometimes chose to live in fear of what is following behind us, instead of giving it over to the Lord.
The high anxiety of the film also made me think about the worries we carry unduly, too. Jay succumbs to the fear of waiting on the “it” to come for her and spends most of her time locked away in her room. How many times do we do this in reality? We lock ourselves up in our worries and fears instead of giving them to God.
These are two of my favorite verses when it comes to dealing with worry:
“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.” —Psalm 4:8 (NIV)
We often find the constant worry we have does more damage than the thing we are worrying about. Jay cannot move past her fears until her friends convince her that inaction is not going to do anything but prolong her fear. It’s a good thing we have a Savior and friend in Jesus who can lead us out of worry and fear and onto a path of living for Him.
Language: Hell (4), “Oh my G*d” (2), “God” (1), “My G*d” (1), plus f-words (8) and s-words (8)
There are several brief sex scenes in the film, but no nudity is shown during them. However, there are several instances of girls in bathing suits or underwear. One scene involves teenagers finding a nude magazine and some of the pictures are shown with graphic nudity. Three scenes of graphic nudity (but not sexual) are shown with two of them being full frontal from a distance (one man and one woman).
Final Take: I cannot recommend this film due to the heavy sexual content. However, as a horror film buff, I thoroughly enjoyed this film because of its use of suspense rather than gore and the intriguing story and moviemaking quality. I think this film will easily make it onto the best horror films of the year list and become a cult classic in the future.
Violence: Moderate to heavy / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Heavy to extreme
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
…in essence, the most lethal venereal disease ever. If only Jay had held on to that promise ring. …“It Follows” is really just “The Ring” with sex. Lots and lots of sex. …
—Paul Asay, plugged In
…“It Follows” delivers enough scares for those looking for them. For those looking for the next great horror flick, this isn't “it.” …
…Canny manipulation of tone, atmosphere and tension makes this a satisfying little horror movie. …the tension remains ratcheted up to a steady thrum, punctuated by jump scares and bursts of intense action. …
—David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
…Rather than breaking new ground, “It Follows” recycles familiar teenage horror tropes — a girl alone in a house, evil forces banging on a door — but its mood is dreamy. Seldom do you feel manipulated by exploitative formulas. The violence, when it comes, is sudden, and the camera doesn’t linger over the gore. …
—Stephen Holden, The new York Times
…Scares that work… “It Follows” takes the sexual anxieties of a generation—AIDS and HIV, obviously, but also issues of power, exploitation and shame—and transforms them into a creepy bogeyman.
—Rafer Guzmán, Long Island Newsday
…The matters of sex and lost innocence work like a thematic undertow, pulling the characters down into the dark, psychological depths. [3½/4]
—Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
…“It Follows” is a smart, disturbing and haunting tale that is truly, deeply scary. … create a paranoia in the viewer where there are concerns [about] the simple action of someone walking down the street can be part of the terror, then the movie has buried itself in the psyche and is creating a nightmarish response. …[3/4]
—Rick Bentley, The Fresno Bee