If you see someone calmly walking towards you? RUN!
It’s been five days and I can’t stop looking over my shoulder. Everywhere I go, everyone I see, I regard with suspicion. When I walk home at night after work, what really happens is that I run half the distance in fear of some supernatural piece of shit eventually catching up to me and snapping my neck.
That’s the impact It Follows has made on me.
As I’ve written before, horror films and I don’t have a particularly good relationship; I don’t like cheap jump scares and excessive blood and gore don’t do anything for me. Only creepy movies get to me and those aren’t exclusively in the horror genre.
The first half of Signs, for example, is an excellent example of creepiness done well. I would argue the same goes for The Blair Witch Project, which is admittedly a more polarizing example. The Strangers was also pretty creepy and had the added bonus of Dennis from It’s Always Sunny accidentally getting his head blown off with a shotgun.
Those three movies are certainly good in their own ways, but none of them quite compare to It Follows.
The premise of It Follows revolves around a sexually transmitted entity which can only be seen by the person who has “caught” it. It can take the shape of any human being and pursues the infected individual by walking.
It just calmly walks towards YOU and you can never truly run away because it will always catch up, even if it takes days, months, or years.
The only way to break the curse is to have sex with someone and pass it on, but it turns out previous victims can still see it. Whether it continues to harbor malicious intent towards its former prey is unclear, but it doesn’t seem like it based on the film’s events.
On the surface, someone walking towards you doesn’t seem that bad. Sure, we’ve all seen episodes of The Walking Dead, but those are zombies with putrid bodies and atrophied muscles. Just a seemingly regular person heading your way? Psh, just shake it off, right?
It’s a question I’ve been asking myself for a couple of days now and it basically boils down to what actually makes this movie so good. Across the board, it was either solid or excellent, especially in context with the typical offerings from the horror genre.
The directing and acting were both good, and the cinematography and production design really helped sell the setting as some kind of city hazily shimmering out of our timeline – a retro Detroit, if you will. But the more I think about it, the more I keep coming back to the music of It Follows.
Under the Skin.
Those are some pop culture offerings I think of when I hear the soundtrack. Out of respect for the integrity of the music in relation to the movie itself, I would recommend you watch the movie without hearing any of the tracks first. If you feel inclined to get a peak anyway, feast your ears on this, this, and this.
But be warned: even the best tracks are most effective when combined with the simple yet effective visual thrills provided by director David Robert Mitchell and his talented cast (especially Maika Monroe) and crew.
If you made the decision to click on those music links, you probably found a wave of 1980s nostalgia washing over your body as you lay trembling in the fetal position. Who knew music made such a difference in movies?
Of course, horror movies have provided some of the most iconic pieces of film music. Think about Jaws, the aforementioned Halloween, and even The Terminator. Is there any other genre that is so dependent on music to set the stage?
It Follows pays homage to the 1980s via soundtrack, without a doubt, but the whole movie is basically a nod to the glory days of horror. You have the Nightmare on Elm Street-esque scenario, where the monster is inescapable and sleep is almost guaranteed death. You have the group of ambiguously aged teenagers who may or may not have graduated high school and or college. You have some romantic tension within the group.
It’s all there. And it works.
Look, it’s not Valentine’s Day and it sure as hell isn’t Halloween. But that doesn’t mean it’s not the right time to see a scary movie. This is the type of movie you simply don’t miss, although I will concede you don’t necessarily have to see it in theaters.
This ain’t Interstellar, baby!
By the way, you’ll have to forgive me if this review was a little cuckoo. I’ve been paralyzed with fear as I type this because I swear I can feel eyes on me. I just can’t tell from where.
Help me. HELP ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!