No hiding place in this tension-filled horror

It Follows with  Maika Monroe as Jay. Photo: PA Photo/Icon Film Distribution
It Follows with Maika Monroe as Jay. Photo: PA Photo/Icon Film Distribution

In Wes Craven’s post-modern 1996 slasher Scream, a geeky cinephile played by Jamie Kennedy detailed the universally accepted rules for surviving a horror film.

“You can never have sex,” he explained. “Big no-no. Sex equals death.”

Writer-director David Robert Mitchell expands on this notion in his impressive second feature: a skin-crawling jaunt into teen angst that pits a group of unsuspecting teenagers against the insidious threat of a sexually transmitted spectre that silently and mercilessly stalks each deflowered victim.

If the shape-shifting phantom kills the terrified target, the mark of death reverts to the previous carrier, and so on, back down the sexual daisy chain. The only way to escape, is to pass it on.

It Follows turns the screw on the horror genre, sustaining tension as characters wrestle with a mind-blowing dilemma.

One sequence, shot in a busy school corridor using a slowly rotating static camera, is deliciously nail-biting.

You can run but you cannot hide.