REVIEW: It Follows (2015)

RADiUS-TWC poster for It Follows

*I attribute it to 2015 due to the fact that it was only released at festivals in 2014 – and had a wide release in its country of production in 2015.

I’m not really a horror fan – to be honest – the rest of my family loves the genre, though. This was a horror film that intrigued me, due to the fact that the story in itself actually resembles a nightmare I’ve had multiple times. People going towards me slowly with ill intent.

Unfortunately, I didn’t go to the CPH Pix festival – and I didn’t find time to see it during its wide release in my home country. Instead, I ordered it on Amazon – and the Blu-Ray just arrived. I have never been more excited to review a horror film.

There are various different types of horror films, and this film falls into the suspense rather than scare category. Don’t misunderstand, this film can be scary – but it relies heavily on the suspense of the unique ‘urban legend’ nature of its film. Although unique in story details, it is not in the way it tells it. You may find yourself thinking Carpenter already did ‘this’ or ‘that’ – and that may be, for there is a true homage sense about this film.

One has to appreciate the work that the director, David Robert Mitchell, and cinematographer, Mike Gioulakis, did. It is one of the most beatifully crafted horror films of the last fifteen years. There are 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 to appreciate. It isn’t full of jumpscares, it isn’t necessarily that gory. It is a steady but slow story of suspense. It does not necessarily give you closure, and it is in need of interpretation. The film intelligently makes use of 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 – 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 noticeable. A horror film is only as good as its score, some say, and if that’s the case – then this film is spectacular.

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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