‘It Follows’ calls back to ’70s horror

Tyler Manning

Maika Monroe in It Follows (2014)
Tyler Manning

Horror is one of the most creative film genres. There are plenty of themes to explore and with modern special effects, what can be filmed is absolutely limitless. That being said, however, horror movies today have become manufactured and lazy. The scares are cheap and unrewarding, the plots are thin and the characters are basically cardboard.

Despite the amount of bad horror, I want to highlight a 2014 scary movie that is absolutely exceptional — “It Follows.”

“It Follows” is set in the late ’70s and tells the story of a woman who is followed by a ghostly form after her first sexual encounter.

What is refreshing about this film is its ability to create a tense atmosphere with good characters. It focuses on being a film with horror elements rather than a film that is pathetically desperate to scare its audience.

The premise is simple, concise and incredibly effective: the main character is followed by a ghost that always knows where she is and will not stop following her until it kills her or she passes it on to another host through sex. The ghost is militant and unrelenting, appearing often throughout the film. There is a sense of tension and suspense present during the entire runtime as the audience wonders where the ghost is and when it will strike.

The characters in the movie are also well written. The main character has a great arc as she learns the horrors of casual sex and what adulthood really means. She is forced to make decisions and mature throughout the movie in order to survive.

“It Follows” also boasts a stellar soundtrack to boot. Before “Stranger Things” re-popularized the ’80s synth score, “It Follows” features a plethora of great synth songs. The songs are atmospheric and terrifying. The score greatly enhances the immense doom and terror while also grounding it in the ’70s inspired world the film is set in.

On a technical level, the film is also great. The cinematography, sound design, sound editing and overall quality of the filmmaking is splendid. The film primarily takes place in medium to wide shots and jump scares are used effectively and appropriately.

Overall, “It Follows” is a smart, effective horror movie that borrows conventions from ’70s horror films while updating it for a modern audience. I highly recommend this to anyone wanting to watch a genuinely terrifying flick this fall season.

Rating: 9/10