If directors John Carpenter, Wes Craven and Sean S. Cunningham taught us anything, it’s that having sex in a horror movie is very bad for your health. Nothing will bring the evil to your door quicker than an intimate teenage fumble – especially if you’re a girl. Taking this basic tenet of cinematic storytelling, and building a whole new movie around it is writer-director David Robert Mitchell (The Myth Of The American Sleepover), whose festival favourite It Follows just got its first, full U.S trailer.
The film follows Jay – a teenage girl who finds herself experiencing a nightmarish scenario after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter. Having indulged her desires, it transpires that her partner has passed on something that even antibiotics are unable to combat – and she is effectively stalked by a terrifying, malevolent presence that clearly has a blood-curdling agenda.
The lead role is played by Maika Monroe (The Guest), who seems to eschew the traditional ‘scream queen’ persona for something altogether more edgy, yet vulnerable. She is joined by Keir Gilchrist (The United States Of Tara), Olivia Luccardi (Orange Is The New Black) and Jake Weary (Pretty Little Liars).
In itself, the trailer is fairly functional. We reach the end with a good basic knowledge of the premise, and a look at some of the scares that are to be expected. The real insight comes from looking between the broad strokes that are edited together for this preview – and those spaces reveal a glimpse of a passionate filmmaker with huge potential. While there is little in the way of gore, the trailer provides tension and suspense by the bucket-load, leaving us with an almost palpable sense of panic. What is this presence, and how do we get rid of it?
The film has been on the festival circuit for the better part of a year now, and has been well-received at each screening – including the Cannes Film Festival in May. It Follows has now been confirmed for the Sundance Film Festival on January 23rd, 2015, and will be released in the UK on February 27th, 2015 – with further releases occurring a month later.