“It Follows” - A Critique

Elizabeth Lloyd

“It Follows”: B-movie horror transcending into excellence through the art of cinematography

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            “It Follows” depicts a young woman’s plight of contracting a sexually transmitted demonic entity. The themes established for this film are highly predictable- lust, naivete, jealousy, and fear. The interesting detail about “It Follows” is that it elevates a typical, teen horror movie farce into a gripping narrative through artistic cinematography. It is this particular detail that seduces the viewer into the gracefully eerie, all too nostalgic world of young love and dread.

            “It Follows” possesses an aesthetic all its own that earned the film a 97% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The artistic vision that this film holds brings an incredible amount of merit to its plot. In the opening scenes the viewer is beguiled with soft, private angles. Almost as if one is spying on the beautiful, yet ordinary day-to-day events taking place in the life of the protagonist. Scenes are decorated with gentle pastels and delicate lighting that are reminiscent of a simpler time. The camera work parallels the soundtrack because it perfectly establishes the mindset of this young girl, and extracts the same mood from the viewer. As the film progresses however, each scene gradually becomes gloomier and grittier. The lighting subtly drifts from day to night as the plot begins to swell with dread and unease. The settings slowly shift from lush and bewitching to bleak and menacing as a malevolent being draws closer to the protagonist. There is no catharsis in the end, and the cinematography exhibits this just as well. The final scene leaves the viewer feeling conflicted through the use of dim, picturesque lighting in the sunset, and yet the intimate camera angle directly on the characters that does not break. It is similar to the feeling of holding eye contact just a little too long, and because of this feeling, the viewer is left with powerful sentiments of apprehension and uncertainty. Therefore, the plot is concluded exactly the way it was meant to be.

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            I recommend this film to anyone with an affliction for art, regardless of what taste, wholly based on the integrity and dexterity of the cinematography that is presented in “It Follows”.