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It Follows by Disasterpeace (Review)

posted Apr 15, 2015, 4:08 PM by Kaya Savas

If you’re going to do horror, then why not try something new? Right? I mean the genre is so tired and beaten that nothing really impresses anymore. Found footage and ghost flicks flood the theaters every few months, so something like It Follows is such a welcome breath of fresh air. It Follows may be heavy on homage, but its own unique take on character-driven horror makes it special. It also features one of the more unique horror scores you’re likely to hear. Disasterpeace is not some new-age band, but actually an intriguing young composer named Rich Vreeland. The name comes from the idea of “Masterpiece” but flipped on its head. The score that he composes here is a trip to be sure. It Follows is a surprisingly melodic horror score that is fully electronic and embraces grit and digital noise like no other.

What struck me about It Follows was how the music balanced sheer terror techniques with more of the melodic approach. Horror scores usually fall into either pure dissonant ambience, over the top scare tactics, or melodic arcs that only build character and have no atmosphere. It Follows managed to blend all of that stuff together, as well as make it sonically unique. The sonic style is definitely a throwback to that John Carpenter sound of films like Assault On Precinct 13, but then at times it can also sound more like a synthetic horror nightmare. And that’s what it does well. We can go from a melodic build into something purely distressing, and the music does wear you down. This isn’t some easy listening you want to toss on while you drive to the beach, but then again I’m not one to judge. Anyways, what the music does well is keep you in the moment and never follows in traditional formulaic footsteps. Vreeland is indeed a novice composer, and he told me in our interview (which you can listen to here) that he really isn’t too familiar with the horror genre at all. I think that helped him craft something that was more from within, and not based off works in the past.

It Follows does something unique in that it doesn’t follow closely in the footsteps of horror scores that came before it. The music is a synthetic blend of melodic builds and digital chaos that keeps you anxious and unsettled. Its unique electronic soundscape proves that Disasterpeace establishes a strong voice and sonic style without resorting to formulaic tactics that plague the genre. The music never outright shocks you, but instead crawls under your skin. It also embraces motifs and melody so the score remains focused, and that propells the narrative forward instead of just “commenting” on what’s happening. I’m excited to see what projects Vreeland takes on next as something this bold so early in one’s career is definitely worthy of attention.