‘It Follows’ delivers rebirth of horror

By Chris Mudd, Staff Writer

In an age of remakes and sequels, director and writer David Robert Mitchell brought to the audience a fresh and thrilling tale that was original and haunting.

“It Follows” is perhaps the most genuine installment in the horror genre in the last several years.

The film follows Jay, a young woman played by Maika Monroe. She is pursued by a living curse, passed onto her after a sexual encounter with a man from her high school. What follows is an hour and a half of paranoia, an emotion all too often overlooked in the horror genre.

Mitchell managed to capture the essence of horror similar to the genre’s golden years. The film harkens to the eighties, where the female lead is always in high heels and the monster is terrifying and original akin to that of “The Thing.”

The curse that pursues her must always be moving toward its prey and can take on almost any human form. A relative, a stranger, anything to get close. The paranoia of the film was always looming in the back of the audience’s mind through every scene. Even in the seemingly most boring scenes, every hallway is a scare waiting to happen. And that was the thing that made the film so great. It knew when to pull back and let the audience sit with the fear instead of relying on the all-too-common jump scare gag.

That’s not to suggest there aren’t flaws. The film uses two jump scares that aren’t totally necessary and the rules that the curse abides by don’t seem particularly consistent.

Even though the audience was told the curse must always be moving, for example, there are a couple times when the creature is standing still for the creepy visual effect. Nonetheless, I was able to overlook those small inconsistencies due to the originality of the creature itself. It’s physical presence was minimal compared to the anxiety it caused by always being just a moment away.

The score of the film added to the intensity as well. The synthesization, percussion and fast paced yet steadfast rhythm encapsulated perfectly the desperate need to run away. At times, when listening to the score on its own, I felt very much like I was drowning, but so close to the shore. If I could only move just a little bit faster, I could get away. The music was created by Disasterpeace and they deserve a lot of credit for their creativity in this one.

“It Follows” was not a perfect film by any means, far from it. While it’s in theaters, it deserves a watch just for the fact that someone made a horror film that wasn’t a remake. I must applaud the originality.