Looking for a different kind of monster movie for this Halloween season? Well, you’re in luck as today’s recommendation is a fantastic reinvention of the monster horror subgenre. The movie in question of course is 2014’s psychological horror movie It Follows.
What makes It Follows such a special film?
It Follows focuses on a young woman named Jay who goes on a date with a handsome and charming guy named Hugh. The facade drops after a few dates when Hugh kidnaps Jay after having sex with her. Hugh quickly lets her go but informs her that he has passed along a curse in which a monster will hunt down and try to kill a person until they pass the curse on to another person through sex.
Right off the bat, this is an incredibly unique idea for a movie. I mean, a monster that’s basically a representation of STDs is a new and different idea for what a horror movie can represent. The monster of It Follows is never explained, a choice that may frustrate some viewers, but it makes complete sense given the film’s themes. It Follows is not about the monster but instead it is about what the creature represents and how they affect their victims.
Maika Monroe is the lead of It Follows in the role of Jay, to which she does an incredible job as the film’s “final girl.” I believe that Monroe’s character is a final girl who gets overlooked too often and should be more commonly included in top 10 lists. She is not only a competent and likable character but also is sexually active, going against what is typical for final girls as they are almost always virgins.
Also, thankfully It Follows never shames Jay for being sexually active, something that would’ve been easy to do, but the film chooses to work against this easy way out. Instead, It Follows elects to be a commentary about being careful who one has sex with; the movie doesn’t say that sex on a whole is a bad thing.
At the end of the day though, It Follows is a movie about a monster who is the representation of an STD, a thing that punishes those who are sexually active. This is something that Carol Clover, the scholar who termed the phrase “final girl” has argued that slasher villains are trying to do. Now yes, this is true for a lot of horror films; however, there has been a good number of horror films that work against this trope, with It Follows being the perfect example. While this movie could’ve chosen to have its lesson be not to have sex until marriage, it instead has much more nuance to it, making it an absolute must-watch for all movie fans, not just horror ones.
It Follows is currently available to be watched on Netflix, which I highly recommend you do, especially if you haven’t checked out this terrific horror movie yet.
Have you checked It Follows out? If so, let us know what you thought down below!