‘It Follows’ and the Art of the Horror Film Score

My boyfriend turned to look at me with my cardigan pulled up to my bottom lip. “Are you cold?” He whispered. “No”, I replied, before grinning. I was terrified.

The cause of my thrilled, yet trembling self was It Follows – the latest horror movie scaring people shitless and blowing them away – the story of Jay and the monster following her. Having it passed on to her like an STI, it’s a relatable and gripping tale that continuously places you in her shoes. It’s helped along by its score by Disasterpeace, aka Rich Vreeland, which perfectly conveys anxiety and that feeling of nightmarish fear.

It took me back to over ten years ago, when I was sitting in another movie theatre, plugging my ears with my thumbs and stretching my fingers to cover my eyes whenever a tinkle of creepy music began. The remake of the horror classic The Amityville Horror was too much for me. (Why didn’t we see The Interpreter instead?!) While the movie wasn’t an amazing contribution to the annals of cinema, the score had done its job. I couldn’t bear to see what was happening on the screen, and the audio suggested I didn’t want to.

Listening to the score of It Follows afterwards freaked me out more than remembering the film did. It reminded me of John Carpenter’s synthy Halloween, while for my boyfriend he heard Goblin’s vibes from Suspiria. It was drawing on a rich history of horror movie soundtracks, and as it turned out these references were direct influences.

Read the full story on the history of the horror score on Spook.

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