It Follows

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Remo D
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It Follows

Post by Remo D » Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:55 pm

So--in the last few weeks we've seen a surge of recognition for IT FOLLOWS as "the" horror film to beat this year... even "the critics" are showing it respect if not out-and-out adulation, and while it didn't open in my neck of the woods right away, the word of mouth caused the film to break out of an "arthouse only" release and try to hit the mainstream.

Well, I can see why--and I can also see why it was given only limited release to begin with. The film IS exceptionally well done... but the mass audience that made a hit out of OUIJA isn't likely to do the same for IT FOLLOWS... despite the hyperbolic TV spots, this is NOT about instant gratification.

I never saw THE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER (2010). I never even knew it existed until I looked up David Robert Mitchell, the Detroit-based indie filmmaker whose second feature this is. MYTH was a coming of age film, and so is this, but IT FOLLOWS does it "horror movie" style. In fact, it's that rare bird that dares to BE about what a million slasher films are supposedly "really" about--namely, sex in the age of high-school (and as such it's in the same league as GINGER SNAPS even though it presents itself in a much different fashion).

Simply put, we have a group of "young adults" who grew up together. Jay (Maika Monroe) and Kelly (Lili Sepe) are sisters. Their friends include Yara (Olivia Luccardi) and Paul (Kier Gilchrist). The girls have also made the flirting acquaintance of Greg (Daniel Zovatto). But Jay has moved outside of the circle and had her first sexual encounter with a young man who didn't even use his real name (Jake Weary)... and when she returns home, she's a battered, terrified wreck and clearly the victim of a sexual assault--except she isn't. The sex was consensual, but her partner passed something nasty on to her all the same. This is no Cronenbergian STD, however: Jay now has the attention of a relentless, stalking "something" that can look like anybody and will eventually kill its target once it makes contact. Jay has the option of "passing it on" by sleeping with another man... but once the "something" makes a kill it's going to start working its way back down the chain.

Such a "something" could only be a metaphor, of course. Disease? Too easy. The "something" in this case struck me as a manifestation of pure, suffocating guilt, and it's played to perfection by the young cast as they go down the path with little or no parental presence to speak of. The tension is palpable even when the "something" isn't actively stalking... as the girls and guys alike realize that it's suddenly "different" to spend the night together or to constantly regard the bathing suits and other revealing outfits that meant nothing in grade school and as the guys exhibit everything from bravado to jealousy as they consider just how they might "help" Jay out of her predicament.

And, as I said earlier, GUILT. Never more pronounced than in Mitchell's realization of everybody's worst "Mom walks in on you..." nightmare (and I've said enough right there)--and beyond that, Mitchell proves that he certainly has the chops to handle the necessary shocks from the obligatory HALLOWEEN tribute (imagine if Michael had just kept coming when Laurie spied him outside the school window) to a bravura beachside attack sequence. There's even some good old-fashioned PD material playing on TV screens for our entertainment, including a clip of Peter Graves in KILLERS FROM SPACE. That's all there and there's certainly ample "jump and scream" material. There's every reason for me to give it an enthusiastic recommendation, which I do.

So why won't this be a hit like OUIJA? Think about it. If you're prepared to do just that, you're ready for IT FOLLOWS.


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Chris Slack
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Re: It Follows

Post by Chris Slack » Sun Apr 19, 2015 5:48 pm

I thought this was quite good up until the end. The ending was horrible!
"Regrettable... I was hoping for a colleague, but at least we have
another experimental subject..." -Mesa of Lost Women

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Kimberly
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Re: It Follows

Post by Kimberly » Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:54 pm

I thought the ending was meh. I did love the soundtrack and the constant feeling of dread!


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