Monday, August 10, 2015

It Follows - Review

One of the most highly praised horror films of the year is It Follows, but as with many films like this, it seems you either love it or you hate it. Well, I watched the film over the weekend and I want to tell you all about what I thought of the film.

I picked up It Follows release week at Target for $12.99 on Blu-ray. That might not matter much to you, but I love Blu-ray and I love a great release week price. That being said, I've had this film for about a month without watching it. Those closest to me sometimes get on my case about buying a film and not instantly watching it, but that is beside the point. With all the dark and stormy weather that occurred in my area over the weekend, I figured that it would be the perfect time to finally watch It Follows.

I assume since you know that this is a review, I'm not going to try to spoil the film, but if I do, I'm very sorry. Chances are, I will end up spoiling at least something.

Now, the trailer did a great job at setting up what this film is about. There is something called The It. If you have sex with someone who has The It, It follows you now. I mean...that's super self explanatory by the title. This film is extremely interesting to me because of that notion. It's absolutely horrifying, but we live in the day and age of sex being extremely common place and STDs running wild. The It, as the creature is apparently called, is a living version of that. I'll say it again...that's absolutely horrifying The It "is slow, but it isn't dumb". It literally follows you. Super slowly. No matter where you go, it is following you. It can be anybody, as its sole purpose is to get close to you and kill you. never stated.

The setting of the film is incredible. We start out in a small rural town like many others. If you've ever been to a small rural town, you know the kind of place I'm talking about. The place with one high school and where all the pools are above ground. The locations of the film really help set the world of the characters. There is something much scarier about having a horror film take place in a small town that almost seems shut off from the rest of the world. We are stuck in a place almost lost in time.

But what about the story, you ask? Unfortunately for It Follows, the script isn't as exciting as it needs to be. For the first half or so of the film, I was laughing. I didn't relate to any of the characters as they are all one dimensional and not worth caring about, but I found myself more interesting in the fact that Jake Weary looks like Joshua Jackson than I was with what was going on in the film. It was just so funny. One of the first times we see The It, it is a super old woman. As I stated earlier, It follows you super slowly. And as it being an old woman, I saw no terror whatsoever. The woman was clearly the It, so there was no suspense. It was laughable.

It isn't until a later point when the director uses the notion of the It being anyone to a great advantage. There are times where the film is spooky, but I'd never go so far as to call it terrifying. There were times where I was extremely enticed by the film and cheered at how fantastic certain aspect were, but these moments all revolved around The It. As I said before, the characters are so underdeveloped. There is the nice girl next door, her kind of slutty sister, the unrequited love interest (Who wants to have sex with the girl next door so badly that he is willing to get The It. Seriously, dude. She isn't into you. At any point in the film...ever.), the nerd friend, the rebel guy, and the outsider. Cliche works, but not here. Never once did I care about these characters. This isn't Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street where the characters are expendable and you don't have to care about (most of) them, because you and I both know that Freddy and Jason are the stars of those movies. If you find yourself rooting for the monster, perhaps the human characters need more development.

The director stated that John Carpenter and George Romero were big influences on this film. The opening shot and the score scream John Carpenter. It's almost absurd. I don't see the director becoming one of the next masters of horror anytime soon, but he is well on his way. If he follows this one up with a sequel or another suspenseful film, I'll see if I reconsider. At this point, the director, David Robert Mitchell, has only one other film under his belt. He still has a lot to prove.

The director had a vision and I did enjoy seeing it come to life. If my review seems unkind or gives you the impression that I didn't enjoy the movie, it is because as good as it was, there was a lot of bad, too. I think It Follows is the perfect popcorn flick to share with your friends at a movie night in the next few months. The perfect film to embrace your crush as he/she gets scared. But maybe close over the fact that it's essentially a PSA for safe sex, as that might kill the mood. It follows (No pun intended) in the footsteps of many films that came before it (I had to watch Final Destination afterwards, as I couldn't stop comparing the two in my head) and will most likely not slip into obscurity anytime soon. It might even become a mega cult classic in the next few years, I really don't know. If you are curious about the flick, there isn't much reason to not give it a try. All I know is that for $12.99, I am satisfied.

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