Psychological and Cinematic Depths of "It Follows"

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Words: 596 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Words: 596|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024


The horror genre has long been a fertile ground for exploring societal anxieties and psychological fears. David Robert Mitchell's 2014 film "It Follows" is a prime example of a contemporary horror movie that intertwines traditional genre elements with profound thematic concerns. The film tells the story of a young woman, Jay, who finds herself relentlessly pursued by a supernatural entity after a sexual encounter. What sets "It Follows" apart is its unique approach to horror, using the premise as a metaphor for broader issues such as sexual trauma, the inevitability of death, and the loss of innocence. This essay seeks to analyze "It Follows" through its narrative structure, thematic depth, and cinematic techniques to understand why it stands out in the modern horror landscape.

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Body Paragraph 1: Narrative Structure

"It Follows" employs a simple yet effective narrative structure that accentuates its horror elements. The film opens with a seemingly ordinary teenage experience that quickly spirals into a nightmare after Jay's encounter with the entity. Unlike conventional horror films that rely on jump scares and gore, "It Follows" builds a slow-burning tension. The entity's relentless but unhurried pursuit creates an atmosphere of inescapable dread. This narrative choice keeps the audience in a state of perpetual anxiety, mirroring Jay's own experience. The film's open-ended conclusion further amplifies this tension, leaving viewers with a lingering sense of unease. By eschewing traditional horror tropes, the narrative structure of "It Follows" effectively sustains its chilling atmosphere from start to finish.

Body Paragraph 2: Thematic Depth

At its core, "It Follows" is rich with thematic content that resonates on multiple levels. One of the most prominent themes is the fear of sexual awakening and the consequences that follow. The entity in the film is transmitted through sexual contact, making it a metaphor for sexually transmitted infections, social stigma, and the loss of innocence. The film also delves into the inevitability of death. The entity's slow but relentless pursuit serves as a powerful symbol for the inescapable nature of mortality. Additionally, the film explores themes of trust and isolation. Jay's plight alienates her from her friends and family, emphasizing the isolating experience of trauma. By intertwining these themes with its horror narrative, "It Follows" offers a multi-layered viewing experience that prompts reflection and discussion.

Body Paragraph 3: Cinematic Techniques

Mitchell's use of cinematic techniques is another factor that elevates "It Follows" above standard horror fare. The film's visual style is characterized by its use of wide-angle shots and long takes, which create a sense of disorientation and vulnerability. The suburban setting, with its empty streets and eerily quiet neighborhoods, adds to the film's unsettling atmosphere. The use of a retro synth score by Disasterpeace further enhances the film's eerie ambiance, blending modern and nostalgic elements to create a timeless quality. Lighting and color palettes are meticulously used to reflect the characters' emotional states, with cold, desaturated hues dominating scenes of tension and fear. These cinematic choices not only enhance the narrative but also immerse the audience in the film's psychological landscape.


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"It Follows" is a standout in the horror genre, not just for its ability to scare but for its profound thematic resonance and innovative cinematic techniques. By focusing on the psychological and emotional aspects of fear, the film transcends conventional horror tropes to offer a deeply unsettling yet thought-provoking experience. The narrative structure, thematic depth, and cinematography work in tandem to create a film that lingers in the mind long after the credits roll. As a modern horror film, "It Follows" serves as a compelling exploration of contemporary anxieties and a testament to the genre's potential for profound storytelling.

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Psychological and Cinematic Depths of “It Follows”. (2024, Jun 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 22, 2024, from
“Psychological and Cinematic Depths of “It Follows”.” GradesFixer, 13 Jun. 2024,
Psychological and Cinematic Depths of “It Follows”. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 Jul. 2024].
Psychological and Cinematic Depths of “It Follows” [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 13 [cited 2024 Jul 22]. Available from:
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