31 Days Of Hallowe'en: It Follows (2014)
Welcome to JOE's 31 Days Of Hallowe'en. For each and every day of October, we'll be bringing you a horror movie to tuck into for the lead up to the big night. It could be new, old, an undiscovered gem, or a classic you'll have seen a thousand times. No matter what it is, we guarantee you that it is brilliant, and it is SCARY.
For Day 6, we'll looking back over the 2014 indie creepy, It Follows.
"It doesn't think. It doesn't feel. It doesn't give up."
An STD, but not as we know it.
It Follows' STD is, in fact, a sexually transmitted demon.
Once you have sex with someone who has it, a demon will hunt you down relentlessly until they catch you and kill, before reverting their murderous gaze back to the person who you had sex with.
The only way to rid yourself of the demon is to have sex with someone else, putting the monster's target on to someone else... at least until the demon kills them, and then it comes right back to you.
It Follows didn't arrive with a big name director, or a particularly well-known cast (the biggest star is leading lady Maika Monroe, who is still a relative unknown in Hollywood terms), or a massive budget to spend on advertising.
No, what It Follows had was a hook. And WHAT a hook it was.
Clip via Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Films
It was made for just $2 million, but having made just over $20 million at the worldwide box office, it is safe to say that the audience for this one wasn't exactly huge.
Critics loved it (96% on Rotten Tomatoes), and in an art-imitating-life kinda way, any of your friends who seen it couldn't recommend it enough, in a way passing-it-on to you, for you to pass on to your friends, and so on and so on...
Word of mouth was definitely It Follows' friend here, and going back to basics with the horror led to one stroke of genius after another.
By having the monster only visible to those who were infected meant that for most of the time, the horrific images that the potential victims were seeing couldn't be seen by us, leading us to use our imaginations and creating images far worse than any movie could conjure up.
At least until the demon actually did decide to show itself, sometimes as a half-dressed, urinating old woman appearing out of nowhere in the kitchen, and sometimes as a giant, Lurch-like pale-faced man who suddenly fills up the girls' entire bedroom doorway.
There aren't a huge amount of popcorn-flying screams (that doorway giant man moment aside), but what there is in spades is an overwhelming sense of dread, helped enormously by the clever old-school cinematography - check out the constantly moving camera in the high school that keeps panning back to the getting-ever-closer old-lady in the school-yard - and nostalgic synth-y score that immediately brings to mind the great scary movies from 30 years ago.
It Follows is the best horror movie of recent years that nobody has seen. You need to rectify that immediately.
Check out our previous recommendations below:
Day 2 - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre