It Follows: in theater review
It Follows has without a doubt one of the most clever marketing ploys. The old classic, ‘come check out this awesome horror movie that’s been getting all these rad reviews from the UK and Sundanese. Oh…you wanted to see it? My bad, it was only released to a few theaters in the U.S. Sorry you can’t see this revolutionary horror flick. But hey, guess what! Now it is available nationwide….but still only in a few select theaters.’ Your tired and true, ‘sorry you can’t see this awesome movie’ trick. And it fucking worked!!! Dammit!!! I’m a sucker for marketing ploys…I’m the guy who buys everything at the checkout counter at Kroger’s or HEB (if you be from TEXAS baby!!!) regardless if I really wanted that Snickers bar or that pack of Bubblicious. I was so hiped about this movie that when it finally released to a local AMC theater here in Houston, I jumped in my minivan and high tailed it to get my ticket. And what did I think of the film…?
It Follows, first off, was not horrible. You’d think it would be, considering the hipe and the clever marketing ploy, but not so. This new addition to the horror genre was not at all terrible. It Follows sure wasn’t revolutionary as the ads claimed it to be either. I’d probably rate this flick somewhere in the upper middle. Why? I’ll try to give you my reasoning as SPOILER FREE as possible by talking about the movie in generalities. I want to mention the ending first because the ending is what critic reviewers and ads have been claiming to be the revolutionary part of It Follows. In reality the ending to It Follows was actually standard for horror movies. Unless all you watch are monster B-flicks, in general, horror denies closure. The good guys do not always win. This grim conclusion is what makes horror so appealing for some people (us twisted dark people). Because in reality, not every story ends happily. The good guys do not always win. Sometimes the story keeps going because in the end, if people are still around, there will always be evil in the world. Not to get too metaphysical or anything, just a fact of life. People are good. And people are bad. But most people are somewhere inbetween. It Follows ends in typically horror humdrum fashion. Was the monster, the Follower, destroyed? Who knows. It wasn’t explained. But you kinda get the feeling It’s still out there…Following.
It Follows was a minimalist picture relying heavily on mood and tension built upon an amazing musical score which reminded me of a strange albeit completely fascinating soup of Carpenter, Doctor Who, and Twin Peaks. The cast were no names, which is perfect if your aim is to create something groundbreaking. Sexuality becomes a painfully obvious subtext as the Follower can be passed on to another victim through sexual activity. Think porno version of Paranormal Activity mixed with a very macabre relay race where the followed passes the baton to the new followed by doing the nasty. There also might be some allegory regarding menstruation, if you’ve seen It Follows think swimming pool scene. Nevertheless, as blunt as the social commentary for It Follows may be, the film most certainly touches on femininity and sexuality. Personally, I prefer my horror films to be a little more transgressive than It Follows. Either I’m way out of touch with society, or It Follows’ allegorical mayhem was a tad bit outdated.
The scare scenes in It Follows were decent. Especially in the beginning of the movie. But sadly, what was sampled within the first five minutes was rudely taken away and never returned to the table. The mood and musical score is what really saved this movie for me. The acting was also on par. Another saving grace is is the films originality. The same tired tropes are being overused in today’s modern horror. However, It Follows was a fresh breath of foul air, an interesting mix of creature mythology and classic stalker horror. If you allow yourself to fall into the ride, it becomes quite grim. The thought or idea of some thing constantly coming for you, never stopping. Paranoia ensues, followed by panic, and eventual confrontation.
Reviews for It Follows have been all over the place. But the strangest aspect you may have noticed is how, in majority, critics have heralded the film while actual blue collared movie goers (such as myself) have been somewhere in the middle. Personally, It Follows was a bit artsy. Even boring at some intervals. But with the well crafted mood and tension throughout most of the film, plus the amazing musical score, and originality, I’d recommend It Follows as a must watch — my conscience is clear in this matter.
My Rating: 3.8 of 5