October Horror: Day 17, It Follows

Horror movies of every subgenre and quality have an abiding undercurrent of dark sexuality and sexism. It doesn’t matter if the film is a psychological thriller, a supernatural terror, or gory slasher flick. So, when a film is able to entwine all three subgenres while crafting an unrelenting terror that’s deeply sexual, we ought to pay attention.

Day 17

It Follows

I missed It Follows when it came out in 2015, but during its release I read and saw tons of rather interesting articles and reviews on it. This month I finally flipped the switch deciding to watch it before it disappeared from Netflix (a fate I suffered with A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night).

There’s a lot to be written about this film; it’s one of the best horror films ever. But, rather than delve deep into the it, I think I’ll just list those aspects of it I enjoyed the most.

First, I loved the soundtrack. The music was perfectly timed with a wonderful tinge of retro while the use of sound to raise and lower tension was satisfying. Second, the actors were all superb. They carried themselves casually but with an earnestness that made their relations to each other not just believable but meaningful.

This leads me to my third point, I loved that this story was about young adults–parents only figured in peripherally and other adults were nearly always disembodied presences. Doing so made the story that much more intimate resetting the teen horror elements to something genuinely about maturation. 

And, fourth, as a succubus/incubus story, the film works on a myriad of metaphorical levels successfully and to such a degree I feel it’s appropriate to call It Follows an allegory. Sussing out just of what is the fun. Is it an STD film? Maybe. But it’s more interesting to see it as a metaphor for surviving sexual assault or for consent.

Fifth, and finally, I loved the genuine tension the film provoked through its camera work. There were more than a few scenes where writer/director David Robert Mitchell made some nifty decisions forcing the audience to search the scene for information. Provoking viewers to engage and not just let the film wash over them is a hallmark of a quality work.

A contemporary masterpiece of horror but also just a genuinely good film.

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