Following an auspicious debut in 2010 with his first feature The Myth of the American Sleepover, writer-director David Robert Mitchell turns to genre with It Follows, playing the teen horror conventions both ably and attractively. The film, which premiered last week at Cannes’ Critics’ Week, works on the premise that the real threat for teenagers is actually what their parents always warned them about—sex. In It Follows, a nefarious supernatural presence of unknown origin starts following you after you sleep with someone whom is being followed by it, and the only way to stop being followed is to inflict the demon on another unfortunate sex partner.
At the center of the action is Jay (Maika Monroe), the object of everyone’s desire, so it’s no surprise “it” comes looking for her, too. Walking slowly, but with grim determination, the shape-shifting spectre can appear as friends or relatives, to the point where the choice to fight it becomes a difficult one. In Mitchell’s manicured suburban landscape of Detroit, sound signals of impending peril judder and shake, particularly with an effective Moroder-ish score, as imperiled teenagers spend a lot of time looking behind their shoulders. It Follows is an altogether smart, refreshing, and more or less a contemporary horror fan’s dream come true.
Anthem sat down with Monroe and co-star Daniel Zovatto by the beach to dig up Freddy Krueger, some behind-the-scenes dirt, and their origin stories.