Credit: Jerome Corpuz

Just released in theaters last week, horror flick It Follows first showed at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall. At the time, star Maika Monroe stopped by our pop-up portrait studio to tell us about making the movie, in which she plays a woman named Jay Height who thinks someone—or something—is following her.

“I was drawn to the idea of having a group of very normal kids thrown into an insane situation,” the 21-year-old told us. “My character is all over the place. It was quite fun to play.”

Not to mention, fun and scary to watch. On March 27, the movie expands to 1,200 more theaters thanks to the buzzy word-of-mouth and must-see reviews it has received thus far—it’s like the movie's going viral the old-school way, a pretty rare feat these days. Here, Monroe reveals the traits it took to make the horror film happen.

Intensity“I have to say it was probably the most intense five weeks of my life,” she said. “It wasn’t only physically demanding, but mentally, too.”

Bravery“I wanted to do everything on my own," she said. "I didn’t want someone doing them for me.” So she declined a stunt double. “If you look really closely, you actually see bruises on me. In the moment, I didn’t feel it, but after the scene is over, I was a bit sore.”

Courage“I had never done a horror movie before," she said. "The thing is, I read the script and I thought, ‘This is so cool; this is awesome; this is amazing.’ Then I got there and I was like, 'I have to go through all of this?!'"

Dedication“We shot this for five weeks straight, every day,” she said.

FunBecause it was so intense, she and her castmates went bowling in their downtime. “We filmed in Detroit, and there’s not a lot to do there,” she said. “So we’d play games in our rooms, we’d go out and go walk around. We’d go bowling. I wasn’t very good. I hate to admit it, because I’m very competitive and I like to win. But I’m not. My aim is the problem. I struggle with my aim.”

Watch a trailer for the movie below.