A horror movie with an interesting premise and an exciting trailer, It Follows made my list of Horror movies I had to watch pretty quickly. Especially after all the wonderful things I heard about it. With a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes from the critics, what could go wrong, right? Well, the audience score is a 65% and there is a good reason why. It Follows starts with a bang, but quickly dissolves into slow paced scenes, flat acting and an obsession with creating “cool” cinematic scenes while the plot slowly. Slowly. Builds up. To me, it feels like a student project focused more on filmography than anything else. The cameraman 360 no scoped so much that I almost barfed…
About: It’s really not that hard to guess the plot of It Follows. Pretty much, you’ll know after having watched the trailer what it is about. There is a monster of some sort that follows you, jumping from person to person or mimicking people you know and love. The film has garnered critical acclaim and has been praised as “the best horror film in over a decade”. To me, it reminds me a lot of The Host. Good idea and premise but is so slow that I could literally leave the room for ten minutes or more and not miss a thing.
Warning! Spoilers Ahead!
If you actually want to watch this movie. PFFT.
The Plot/Characters: The beginning of the movie starts out with a bang. A young woman runs out of a house being chased by an unknown entity. Others in the neighborhood, including her dad, try to help, but she takes off in a car. On the beach, she makes a call to her parents telling them she loves them. The next morning, she’s found dead on the beach, her leg ripped halfway off and pulled the wrong way. The movie then moves to the main characters. Jay goes to the movies with her boyfriend, Hugh. They finally get close and have relations together, only for Hugh to drug her, explain that he has passed on a curse to her and she must have relations with someone else to save herself. After showing her the figure of a woman that’s the one following her now, exposition man… I mean, the boyfriend Jay off at her house. Halfway through the movie, Jay has still not been pursued, but is continuously seeing strange visions. Her friends and her have discussions together, but nothing really is gripping about them. The characters are typical teens as well, with no real distinguishing features between them other than the boyfriend being a jerkface…
The slow speed of the movie gives you a lot of time to think about things. Including, why the police didn’t investigate the boyfriend further and discover that he had a fake address and where he was? Seeing as how he tied up Jay against her will after knocking her out with chloroform. It leads the gang of Mystery Inc members to investigate themselves for a good portion of the movie. Also, after they meet him later, no one is upset and just chills with him, letting him explain more. Why the hell did he need to explain it while she was tied up then!? The main character even is so fed up with it that she’s busy plucking up blades of grass instead of listening. Also if Hugh went through the trouble of staying in an abandoned house to throw off suspicion, why did he leave a pic of him and his girlfriend inside of his porno mags? Actually, is the movie just a long dragged out porno?
The Scares: Some movies can move slowly and still build up atmosphere and scares. This movie really isn’t one of them. We see the monster about fifteen minutes or so in, before any of the other scares really happen besides the beginning scene. The beginning scene, in fact, was terrifying and got me excited for the movie since the woman is murdered by an unknown assailant. Now that the monster is seen, it’s almost a let down. Following that are a bunch of half-attempts at jumpscares, including a ball being thrown at a window. Lame, movie! LAME. I’ve seen scarier stuff in my own closet. 37 minutes in and nothing has even come after Jay, despite the movie only being an hour and a half long. Finally, her friend leaves and Jay goes to investigate a noise, leading to her seeing the “monster” again. A twisted looking woman… Peeing on her carpet. EW! JAY JUST CLEANED THAT CARPET, WOMAN!
Finally, Jay is pursued by more demonic looking monsters. Finally. Only, that doesn’t last long. It instead switches gears and spends a good portion of the movie with the friends tracking down Hugh only for him to rehash the same information. CALL THE POLICE GUYS!?
Something finally comes again while on the beach and attacks the friends. While it flings one of them, the others can’t see it at all which is a tad spooky. Maybe it just wanted to give her a hug? Also, why do real bullets affect this thing in the first place?
One of the boy friends also bangs her while she’s on a hospital bed so that the “curse” will follow him instead. Noble. Also. Disturbing. Like, it was wordless before he was just on top of her. So so… So romantic. I mean, boyfriend of the year material. Way better than that JERK that took her to the parking lot! This one at least had the decency to use a bed… I guess?
The Monster: There are multiple monsters in this movie, as “It” can look like anyone including a spooky old Grandma, a semi-clothed woman in the midst of peeing, an eyeless tall man and a sleep deprived youth.
The Score: Often repetitive and played on a high note, the score isn’t that original or impressive. I’m not sure why people were saying it was that great. In fact, I had to turn down the volume of my computer repeatedly while watching this so my ears didn’t bleed. Also, most times there is absolutely no music at all but the chirping of birds, crickets, etc. It reminds me of an old retro movie but with the volume either cranked to max or to zero.
Overall: It Follows is probably one example of a movie that is a total disconnect between critics and normal viewers. Either that, or I’m totally out of my mind and everyone else really absolutely loved this movie. It’s not scary, drags in so many places and the overall message is that screwing around is a bad idea, WHICH is probably a good message that ultimately just gets lost amongst the flat uninteresting characters. Actually… If that is the message, then why does the movie encourage it to stay alive? What are you trying to tell me, movie!? Jay’s mind seems to wander in this movie just as much as the plot does and cinematography is the sole focus of many of the scenes. That being said, yeah, a lot of the shots were beautiful and the premise was good. Ultimately, I’d rank this movie as on par with one of M. Night Shyamalan’s later works… (the twist is… THERE IS NO TWIST) It’s not even a funny kind of bad either, since it takes itself so serious.
Have you seen It Follows? If so, what did you think?