The budget is minuscule. There are no big names. Set pieces are delivered infrequently, and on a small scale. And if it's monsters you're after, there are precious few ghouls, goblins, ghosts or gremlins.
In fact, this is a horror film in which you barely see the bad guys.
But It Follows is an indie-shocker getting plenty of attention by delivering some seriously unsettling shocks that make the most of its limitations.
Director David Mitchell uses his first horror film to show what you can achieve with nothing but a big imagination.
The story begins as pure teen melodrama: a bored suburbanite called Jay goes on a date with her new boyfriend Hugh, sleeps with him in the back of his car, then wakes up tied to a chair in an abandoned building watching something horrific approach her.
Turns out Hugh's passed on a curse through their backseat shenanigans, and whatever was after him is now after her. Exactly what "it" is is the film's trump card: it can be anyone, at any time, doing anything. Only Jay can see it, and it will never stop following her - unless she passes it on to someone else.
Despite the lack of a defined baddie, Mitchell wrings tension out of mundane situations. The sets are mostly suburban: lounges, school yards, beaches, bland interiors and an occasional abandoned building. Within these confines, a school lesson becomes a sprint through the halls; a night in front of the TV turns into a home invasion nightmare, and a swim at the beach will never be same after watching what goes down here.
With its oppressive sense of dread, It Follows is kind of like The Ring, minus the VCR schtick, or excellently creepy French TV show The Returned.
Anything could be evil, and with so much going on in the background, it's worth paying close attention. Combined with a dreamlike atmosphere that perfectly encapsulates teenage boredom, It Follows delivers some of the biggest scares you'll likely have in a theatre this year.
Mitchell has worked out that the biggest boos can be delivered without bashing audiences over the head. But you will leave the cinema looking over your shoulder - and if you see a girl in a yellow dress, just run.
Cast: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi, Lili Sepe
Director: David Robert Mitchell
Rating: R16 (violence, horror and sex scenes)
Running time: 100 mins
Verdict: Low budget horror delivers unsettling jolts