Film

Maika Monroe: "There is something beautiful about it in a terrifying way"

It Follows star Maika Monroe talks beautiful horror movies and getting into the dark zone

It Follows is being hailed as an instant horror classic but I hated it because I really don’t like being scared.

Good, I like to hear that.

What is the ‘it’ of the title?

I don’t even know what it is. The writer/director David Robert Mitchell told me the idea comes from his nightmare. As a kid he had this constant dream of this thing following him. Sometimes it would be someone he recognised – a friend or family member – or people he didn’t know at all. They would follow him and you could run away but it would always be there.

Since I saw the film sometimes I think people are following me.

Yip, that tends to happen after you watch it. But I guess I’m only imagining it. You don’t know…

Is it more frightening that we never know who or what this relentless, ever-changing thing is and why it wants to catch and kill you?

It moves slowly so you have time to think about what’s happening. That’s the worst. The film has this dreamlike, hazy feel and it’s very elegant and simple. Where most horror movies are so loud and in your face with blood and guts, there is something quite beautiful about it in a terrifying way.

Can you still find a film terrifying if you star in it?

No, not really. It’s hard for me to watch and be able to enjoy it, which is kind of a bummer. I’m just painfully watching myself, thinking this was the most intense five weeks of my life.

Was it so bad?

The character goes to hell and back. Jay is a typical teenager, then she’s thrown into this insane situation and you watch her deal with it and come out a hero. Filming it, I’d always have my headset on with my music playing. I’d be in my own world to stay in that dark zone, since that’s where most of the movie takes place.

What’s on your dark zone playlist?

I was trying to think. I think I blacked out the process of making the movie. I’ve no idea, just some really dark, depressing music.

Radiohead?

There you go.

You used to be a professional kiteboarder. Is that something more of us should take up?

It’s an up-and-coming sport. If you want adrenaline in a somewhat easy way, all ages can do it. There are people in their 70s and kids who are 12 kiting, my dad’s kiteboarding and he’s almost 60. You can learn tricks where you’re jumping 30 feet in the air or you can just be riding on a surfboard.

I have trouble just flying a kite so…

That’s a bad start.

It Follows is out now in cinemas

Introducing RORA Jobs and Training

Whether you’re in work, currently unemployed, or worried about your future job security, Big Issue RORA Jobs & Training is here to help. Search our latest jobs, register for alerts, browse training courses and find your next role today.  

Find out more

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Furiosa director George Miller on the function of stories and why Mad Max is a 'cautionary tale'
Furiosa
Film

Furiosa director George Miller on the function of stories and why Mad Max is a 'cautionary tale'

The Garfield Movie review – we're not feline the tubby orange tabby's full CGI makeover
Garfield in The Garfield Movie
Film

The Garfield Movie review – we're not feline the tubby orange tabby's full CGI makeover

Made in England: The Films of Powell and Pressburger – Scorsese's tribute to duo who inspired him
Martin Scorsese and Michael Powell, 1981.
Film

Made in England: The Films of Powell and Pressburger – Scorsese's tribute to duo who inspired him

Filmmaker Melanie Manchot explains how her drama Stephen can offer hope to addicts
Stephen Giddings in Stephen
Film

Filmmaker Melanie Manchot explains how her drama Stephen can offer hope to addicts

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know