This is probably the best horror movie I've seen in the past decade. It Follows is a throwback to classic late '70s - '80s horror films and draws many comparisons to John Carpenter's style, from the music to the cinematography, and rather than appearing like a carbon copy or rehash of Halloween, director David Robert Mitchell executes this odd premise with such flair and finesse that you can't help but be refreshed by its cleverness. Everything about it works, from the brooding pace to the relatable characters, effortlessly sucking you into this gloomy world where STDs can pass on entities that follow you around no matter where you are. This is where most of the suspense comes from, because instead of relying on blood and shock value, It Follows is subtle and thought provoking - you never know where this thing is and it moves so slowly that you don't know when it will appear, and this uncertainty in waiting is what real suspense is all about.
One aspect that stands out, apart from the brilliant writing and directing, is the musical score by Disasterpeace. It's absolutely gorgeous in the most ominous, haunting way you can imagine. It's retro but not dated - heavy on synths and low on bombast, it sets the eerie tone of the movie right from the get-go and elevates the film's effectiveness into the stratosphere. Even as a standalone listen the music is brilliant, but when juxtaposed with the bleak imagery and unnerving atmosphere, it's downright masterful.
It Follows is not an overtly scary movie. It's a slowburner, and the emphasis on mood over jump scares makes it all the more terrifying. The acting is spot-on, the cinematography is glorious, the pacing is perfect - it's a breath of fresh air into the horror genre that has been on life-support for a while now. I can go on and on, but the thing to remember is that It Follows is not for everyone. If you're expecting this to be a paranormal slasher or something of the sort then you probably won't enjoy it. It's purely psychological, and these days, psychological horror is making a huge comeback. Last year we had The Babadook and this year the movie to beat is It Follows. Both movies are by new directors - Jennifer Kent and David Robert Mitchell respectively - which means they have their entire career ahead of them to rejuvenate the genre to the heights it used to reach. It Follows is a masterpiece in every respect and an absolute must-watch for horror fans that thought the genre was completely drained of originality. I can only imagine where horror will progress from here.