Why It Follows Is Scarier Than Your Nightmares

There are tons of horror movies to look forward to this year, but for now, you just need to remember this one: It Follows. The film, which opened in wide release on Friday, stars Maika Monroe as a young woman who is terrorized by an evil force that is slowly but constantly walking in her direction. Maybe that doesn't sound too scary, but consider that this thing only shows up after a run-of-the-mill sexual encounter, it can take any shape, and no one else can see it. Intrigued? Take a look below to find out why this movie needs to be on your radar.

  1. It puts a new spin on the boogeyman. There's nothing original about the idea of a young girl being stalked by something evil, yet this film feels different than everything we've see before. The nightmare begins after she has sex with a guy she's dating, and he ties her up to explain that he's passed something onto her: not an STD, but an evil thing that she has to run from until she has sex with another person. The monster, or whatever it is, walks pretty slowly — like a zombie — and can look like an old woman in a nightgown, a-half clothed girl wetting herself, or a gigantic man towering over a friend.
  2. It only uses gore when necessary. The movie opens with a really shocking death, but after that, there's not a ton of blood. The filmmakers rely more on disturbing imagery and tense music for scares, which makes it less repulsive and more genuinely thrilling. There are some light special effects, but they serve a function rather than being added simply for show.
  3. It will make you think. This is not a paint-by-the-numbers horror flick. There is a villain, but we don't necessarily get to know where it comes from or why it's doing what it's doing. The movie feels a lot like a nightmare in that it's just relentlessly scary with no real explanation. Having said that, you won't feel cheated out of information at the end. If you're anything like me, you'll probably just be thinking about everything you witnessed for the next week.
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