Each week, Halloween Horror Marathon does some themed posts. We go back to work on Mondays with a recent release. We call it New Movie Mondays.
What nobody ever mentions about It Follows — except, evidently, me when incessantly and effusively praising this movie after I finally saw it — is the constant movement. Watching the film, I never felt scared, per se, but definitely felt a sense of tension. It Follows is a movie whose tautness is its real weapon, and it comes from that constant movement.
Said movement could be the characters in a scene: either talking, fiddling with their hands, swimming, or otherwise involved in an activity. However, it could just as likely be the movement of the camera: zooming in, pulling back, panning, or following the characters as they sit. It’s that incessant motion which gives It Follows the unyielding anxiety that makes it so very watchable.
The Disasterpeace score places further strain upon the viewer, as well. It’s the sort of music which has melody to hook you, only to disintegrate into digital noise at the end of each section. It’s beautiful and haunting in its more lovely moments, but absolutely intimidating when it wants to menace.
What’s great about the motion of the camera or the characters onscreen is that it’s entirely at odds with the pace of the plot itself. It unfolds at a relatively slow pace — some would say glacial — similar to the likes of ’70s or early ’80s films like Zombie Flesh Eaters or The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue, wherein you spend time living with the characters in between moments of supreme violence. It’s not rapid-fire hit, hit, hit in terms of violence. It builds and builds and builds between each instance.
And, of course, the open interpretation of so much of It Follows is what really allows for repeated viewings. Are we going to consider the religious imagery this time, or possibly the mutable timeframe in which the movie takes place? Every instance adds a different perspective , and you could easily waste an entire afternoon reading the various think pieces.
Add in the female lead of Jay, as portrayed by Maika Monroe, with demonstrable agency of her own, and you’ve a modern horror film that manages to still seem timeless. For sheer entertainment value, as well as repeated, multi-faceted perspectives, It Follows is definitely my favorite movie this year, and possibly in the last five. I can’t think of another film which not only lived up to the hype which preceded it, but also surpassed it to such an extent.