‘It Follows’ is a new horror movie that feels like an old one. The style and music feel like something out of the 70s even though the movie is set in the present day. There is nothing particularly good or bad about that. What makes this horror movie great is the fact that the makers understand what it takes to bring true tension, suspense and fear to the table.
Some horror movies are showy and use gore or special effects to wow the audience and there is nothing necessarily wrong with that. I have no problem with those kinds of tactics when the movie itself is good but when they are done with no substance underneath that is a problem. ‘It Follows’ is the type of horror movie I really like. It’s all about the basics with little or no need for any gore or elaborate special effects.
This is subtle horror that brings a slow building tension and sense of dread done just the way it should be. It is much more terrifying for the danger you are running away from to be walking toward you than running. It is a completely different tone and feel. It’s like that with traditional zombies as well. They aren’t fast but they will not stop… ever.
The actors all give very natural and realistic performances. However, their personalities and relationships aren’t developed all that much. There is some decent history explored between Maika Monroe’s character and Keir Gilchrist’s. Also, the unknown force that winds up coming after you may take the shape of your relatives or friends and sometimes it is not obvious exactly who they are in relationship to who they are following.
The other issue with the film is that it never really explains how the urban legend like horror started and doesn’t have a conclusive ending either. Now that doesn’t really take away what the movie has accomplished but it does leave the viewer curious. The storyline is very much like ‘The Ring’, another very good horror movie. The difference between the two is that ‘The Ring’ actually does uncover the mystery of how it all began whereas ‘It Follows’ doesn’t. That really doesn’t bother me that much, it gives them something unique and fresh to do in a possible sequel.
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