David Robert Mitchell's commanding sophomore effort, "It Follows," is a superior sex thriller anchored by what should be a breakout performance by a singular young actress named Maika Monroe and by Mitchell's unstinting focus on his material. The director and his star never flinch.
While this kind of movie is open to any interpretation, it was immediately apparent to me that "It Follows" is an unusually unforgiving cautionary tale about first-time sex, particularly when the participants are young and unformed. Teenagers. In their efforts to protect teens from sex, disapproving adults (who essentially want to selfishly keep sex all to themselves) create a web of guilt. Actually, they conveniently invented it.
And in "It Follows," this guilt is personified by visions of horrific stalkers intent on tormenting the foolish young fornicators. The assorted visions that haunt Monroe's character, named Jay, resemble post-coital zombies.
They are the naked undead (full-frontal naked).
And they all look as if they've just had sex and then died horribly.
Jay is advised by the guy who took her virginity that the only way she can rid herself of these guilt-produced demons is to have sex with another person, passing on the curse. That's what he did in order to keep his sanity and pursue future intercourse. What follows makes sex look creepy, accompanied by a terrifically offbeat, discordant music score by Richard Vreeland/Disasterpeace which, at one point, includes some artistic static.
"It Follows" astutely indicts the hypocrisy of a confused, sex-addled America that continues on its unsuccessful, puritanical journey.
Note in Passing: The time in which “It Follows” is set is enticingly vague, never made clear. It feels contemporary. The kids look like budding millennials. However, none of their homes have flat-screen TVs. There are several scenes of the kids watching television and all the sets are old-fashioned “box” sets. Also none of the kids seem to have cell phones, although one girl plays around with a gizmo shaped like a seashell. So is the film set in the present – or possibly as far back as the ‘70s?