Horror has rarely been a genre that is recognized for its cinematic achievements. In the defense of the awards big-wigs, rarely do horror films strive for such recognition. Nor is the appeal of many horror aspects what gets us to watch. Sometimes the thirst to just be scared or mindlessly entertained is exactly what we want quenched. But with the genre pumping out more and more garbage that even the ardent of horror patrons have a difficult time watching, it is refreshing to see some films that appear to have more time spent on story and the execution of it than simply...the executions.
It Follows is receiving some rave reviews across the board. So much so that the rumors of a widened theatrical release (rather than a VOD release) is becoming more fact than wishful thinking. Due to their parallels as far as hype and early recognition, this is bringing out, in general, two types of horror fans: The Babadook lovers and The Babadook haters. Those that loved what The Babadook did are seeing another horror film come out that can exercise their mind and soul as well as their heartrate. Those that found The Babadook to be over-hyped are skeptical of this film's quality past the reviews.
Love it or hate it, The Babadook did something in the horror genre we don't see terribly often, but we have been seeing more of it lately. And that is an edge towards good storytelling using the horror genre as a vehicle. We are discovering that horror can be a powerful fuel for telling a story. It sparks quickly and sets an enduring flame that can withstand a 100-minute runtime. More and more directors are coming out to give another side to the horror genre. The Pact, if you haven't seen it, is an excellent example of great storytelling using scare tactics. The tension is palpable, the mystery unravelling as the protagonist unlocks the past, with a climax that delivers to your horror appetite, while appealing to a larger audience.
Is this the future of horror? Is it a branch that is expanding from the tree? Many of us would much prefer it be just a branch. A healthy, growing branch, but a branch. Sometimes we just want Freddy tearing through our nightmares. Sometimes we just want The Thing ripping through our doomed cast. But then there are those times where we want to watch a horror movie that will keep us engaged on all fronts. And it is a welcomed sight to see said films being made, and in greater numbers.