As I said in my review of The Lazarus Effect (2015), I’m trying to grow an appreciation for horror movies this year. While I was not a fan of the former, this go around had a lot more satisfying results.
It Follows (2015) follows the story of Jay, played by newcomer Maika Monroe, as she has a sexual encounter with a boy over the summer. After this she discovers that he has plagued her with an unknown force that will follow her in the form of various people in her life (her parents, her friends, etc.) for the rest of her life until either it kills her or she passes off the plague to someone else via a sexual encounter. However even after she passes it off she is still plagued because if it kills that person, it immediately goes down the line and kills her to and whoever plagued her and so on and so forth.
The opening scene of the movie is brilliant, only consisting of three or four shots, yet lasting probably around five minutes. This is the case also for the remainder of the movie. The long takes and cinematography as a whole really make this movie something unique as opposed to other horror movies I’ve seen with quick shots to keep a “fast pace”. I liked this movie because it was slower but the lingering plague that was haunting the main character kept me invested in the story. More often than not I was gripping my seat not because it was scary, but because it was more suspenseful. This was surely thanks to the camerawork and music that surely took influence from classic 80s horror films.
The score in this movie is incredible. More often than not it was the music that carried the scene. There would be somber tracks while the group of friends are driving around town as images cross dissolve with one another. Then there would be suspenseful action beats with this strange and eery distorted sound that I had never really heard in a horror movie before which was really cool. The composer’s name is Disasterpeace and I’m very curious to hear what else he’s done.
There is something to be said about the theme of the movie essentially being that this plague is an STD. If this movie came out in the 80s it would not have been as well received I feel because of the concern for AIDS at the time. I’m sure that’s also the first thing that people thought of when they saw this movie and figured out how this plague works. It’s also sort of a meta statement on horror movies as whole, kinda like Scream (1996) said about how if you have sex in a horror movie you are almost guaranteed to die.
It Follows is a suspenseful horror film that kept me on the edge of my seat more often than not. From the breathtaking cinematography that gave it a modern feel to the eery soundtrack that brought you back to the 80s, this is a horror film that is by far worth seeing. If you’re afraid of horror movies because of “jump scares”, don’t worry. There’s only like two or three of them in this movie. I hate when horror movies rely on jump scares to startle the audience. This movie just uses editing techniques, great camerawork, and its sound effects to captivate audiences, which I think makes for a much more enticing horror movie.
Overall rating: 7.5/10 – Very Good
If you’re a fan of horror, whether its from this modern era or the 80s, this movie is very much worth seeing. I hope I see these actors in more films now as well because to be honest, they weren’t bad at all compared to cheesy actors that came out of slasher films way back when.
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