REVIEW: It Follows (2015)

RADiUS-TWC poster for It Follows

To be honest, I wouldn’t really call myself a ‘horror fan’ or ‘horror aficionado,’ even though the rest of my family clearly adores the genre. It Follows, however, was a horror film that intrigued me, due to the fact that the story, in itself, actually resembled a nightmare I’ve had multiple times — one featuring an individual walking towards me ever so slowly with ill intent.

Unfortunately, I didn’t go to the CPH PIX Film festival. I didn’t find time to see it during its wide release in my home country either. Instead, I recently ordered it on Amazon. The Blu-Ray just arrived. When I pressed play, I don’t think I had ever been more excited to review a horror film.

Of course, there are various different types of horror films, and It Follows, I’d say, is more suspenseful than it is scary, so to speak. You mustn’t misunderstand, It Follows can be scary, but it relies heavily on the suspense of the unique ‘urban legend’ nature of this parable’s premise. Though it does feel like an homage-film at times, the moral lesson of the film feels quite unique, in that It Follows seems to be about the transmitting of sexual diseases.

One has to appreciate the work that director David Robert Mitchell and cinematographer Mike Gioulakis have done with this film. It is one of the most beautifully crafted horror films I’ve seen in a long time. There are these amazing symbolic shots, awe-inspiring pan shots. The shots are creepy when they need to be, and have a well-shot simplicity to them as well.

With that having been said, however, this isn’t a simple horror film that is easy to appreciate. It is challenging. It asks something of its audience. It isn’t completely packed with thrills and scares. It isn’t full of jump scares. It isn’t necessarily that gory. It is a slow and steady story of suspense with incredibly creepy imagery. It Follows does not necessarily give you closure, and it is in need of serious interpretation. The film asks you to dig into references to T. S. Eliot and Fyodor Dostoevsky to provide the hidden meaning of the film.

You won’t necessarily recognize any one particular actor in this film with Maika Monroe possibly being the only recognizable actress in the film, in which she plays the protagonist. But that doesn’t hurt the film at all. All actors give good performances, and thus the film dodges a bullet.

But I’ve saved the best for last. Rich Vreeland, or Disasterpeace, masterfully crafted a suspenseful, intriguing, and scary film score. The music in this film is spectacular and had It Follows made use of a generic score this film wouldn’t have been as memorable. A horror film is only as good as its score, some say, and if that’s the case – then this film is phenomenal.

Final Score: 8.5 out of 10.0 – ‘It Follows’ is a beautifully shot horror tale, assisted by one of the best horror scores in years.

I’m Jeffrey Rex

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