It Follows is a inventive little horror film from writer/director David Robert Mitchell. It tells the story of a young girl plagued by a monster that hides in plain sight and will be coming after her based on the rules the film sets up. It is simple, stylish, and spooky. The film was given a fairly wide release, but was met with plenty of acclaim. Now it has arrived on Blu-ray, with more reason for people to check it out.
Following an opening of the film, which involves one person running away from something, only to end up brutally murdered later that night, we meet star of this film, Jay (The Guests’ Maika Monroe). She is soon put in the position of having a monster coming after her, which is obviously terrible. Jay learns all of this from a guy she went on a date with, beginning the film’s hints of being an extreme sort of cautionary tale. He informs her that by having sex with him, it passed on whatever it is the makes the monster hunt after one specific person.
The key thing to get from all of this is the paranoia and fear of a monster that slowly comes after their target. It can appear as anyone, but it does not do anything more than walk after its intended victim, until it can cause its form of harm. This means Jay can buy time by leaving the area, but until she has sex with someone else, this thing will constantly be after her.
Director Mitchell does a fine job of keeping everything simple from a story perspective, while taking viewers on a ride in terms of the film’s production. It Follows is a low-budget horror film, indebted to some of the more experimental horror films from the 70s, with some connections to various J-Horror films like Ringu as well. That in mind, the film still functions as a sort of creepy piece of filmmaking, given the great horror soundtrack and long tracking shots that suggest the worst. The various forms of allegory that come up are interesting too.
Regardless of what the film represents though, there is plenty to admire in Mitchell’s skill as a director. There are some exceptionally well-choreographed sequences, given the nature of how this monster appears and what the characters do as a result. One sequence in particular involves a fantastic 360 degree shot, which can basically sum up how effective this film is, when it comes to seeing the actors on screen, the way music informs a scene, and how affecting certain images can be, when it comes to trying to scare the viewer.
The true scariness level is debatable, but somewhat unnecessary. It Follows was not scary to me per se, but the film does evoke a mood quite effectively and I was very intrigued by how this would all play out There are some shocks here and there, but the film wisely plays it cool in terms of how much is needed to startle the audience and features little in the way of blood and gore.
It Follows is one of the best horror films in recent years, joining The Babadook as far as great horror films made on a low budget that still made a big critical splash. It clashes old school sensibilities with some modern touches, making for one of the more unique horror films I have seen in some time.
It Follows arrives on Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC-encoded transfer and it is gorgeous. The film allows for plenty of detail to be seen, which is incredibly helpful for a film that has so much to take in visually, despite its minimal nature. The character details are quite solid, the black levels are incredibly deep and inky, and the colors pop the way they need to, despite the film being mostly muted. It’s a truly great transfer.
The Blu-ray features an awesome DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack. Music is so key for this film and it comes through incredibly well. The superb sound design, in general, is wonderfully handled for this Blu-ray’s audio track. The LFE channel gets a hell of a workout, given the nature of the film. The dialogue is loud and clear throughout. There is even a great sense of balance, as the film provides plenty of work for the various channels. Very satisfying work all around on this audio track.
While there is a great commentary track to listen to, it is a shame that there is basically no participation from the director or cast to help dive into the making of this film.
- Critic’s Commentary Hosted by Scott Weinberg – Anyone that listened to the Snowpiercer commentary should know what to expect here. Critic Scott Weinberg serves as a host of a discussion taking place throughout the film with other critics. He brings on fellow critics Eric D. Snider, Britt Hayes, Samuel D. Zimmerman, Alison Nastasi and Eric Vespe to go over the nature of the film, why it works, and various other forms of insight. It is a terrific track that makes up for a lack of other more worthwhile extras.
- A Conversation with Film Composer Disasterpeace – A great look at how the music was made for the film.
- Poster Art Gallery
- Theatrical Trailer
- UltraViolet Copy of the Film
It Follows is a terrific horror feature that deserves plenty of attention from horror fans. While this Blu-ray lacks more extra features (aside from its great commentary track), it features a wonderful presentation. That’s all well and good, because this is a film that features fantastic design work. Go check it out immediately.