It Follows opens in a sunny suburban neighborhood. Then a young woman named Annie bursts out of her house and sprints down the street. Screaming horror music plays. She’s clearly running from something, but nothing seems to be chasing her. Annie pauses and looks back at the house, waiting for her moment. Eventually she makes it into her parked gray sedan and then drives away.
Later that night, Annie is sitting by a lake. She stands with her back to the waves and watches the road. Her cell phone rings and she answers and tells her father that she loves him. Then she looks up as if she sees something coming, but a wide-angle shot of the beach shows nothing—just the sandy shore lit by the car’s headlights.
The next morning everything is still, overcast and grey. Annie lies dead on the beach, with one leg turned and at an unnatural angle, a bone sticking out of her skin. Her face is relaxed and unreadable. We don’t know what killed, but whatever it was, it was both incredibly powerful and unfathomably cruel.
The shot of Annie’s dead body is definitely the bloodiest image in the film. It’s undeniably haunting. The only reason it’s not higher on the list is that by this movie’s standards, it’s a little obvious. Yes, a teenager’s mutilated body is indeed a surefire way to make audiences gasp, but as the film progresses it will become apparent that it has far more insidious ways of making us suffer.