It Follows (2014)
PLOT - A young girl from the suburbs of Detroit goes on a date with a slightly older guy from the city. After sleeping with him, she's drugged and wakes up tied up to a wheelchair in an old abandoned building. The guy apologizes, and warns her that now that he's slept with her he's passed something onto her. She's going to notice a presence following her. It can come in any form. A stranger, somebody she knows. whatever it is it will follow her until she's dead. The only thing is, it never runs, it just slowly walks. If it reaches her, she's dead. The only way to get rid of it is to sleep with somebody else and pass it onto them as quickly as possible. If that person gets killed by it, it will return right back to her and so on and so forth down the line.
LOWDOWN - About a month or so ago I slowly began hearing about the hype that was surrounding It Follows. I'm a huge fan of independent horror films, and heard about how this movie was getting a wider release thanks to the support of horror fans from all over going to go see it at the theaters. Last weekend I noticed that it was playing around me and as a way to pass the time, me and my friend went in to see what all the fuss was about.
First thing is I thought this viewing was going to be a complete and utter shit show. The row behind me was a whole family. Yep, just complete and utter white trash with the loud mother and aunt, and all of the kids ranging from ages 6 to 12. During the trailers they legit yelled at the top of their lungs and wouldn't shut up. I never pass judgement on people, mostly with parents showing kids horror movies. Still, it's one thing to show a child a movie in the privacy of your own home. Instead so many assholes can't get a baby sitter and instead of caring about everyone else who paid good money for a ticket, they ignore their screaming yelling kids pretending that it's a playground. Several times before, I've gone to the movies where people have brought babies…fucking babies to the movies. No…words. I mean my mother brought me to go see Scream 2 when I was nine, but she knew I could handle it and taught me to sit and shut the fuck up during a movie. In fact I never really remember ever talking during a movie. I would just sit and enjoy it. Well, safe to say my entire row was getting fed up real fast. I was sitting next to a couple and the whole time I heard the boyfriend tell the girl he was with that if this family didn't shut up once the movie started he was going out to complain.
I was on the verge of doing so as well. I really don't care who I piss off anymore. I've sushed people before because of how loud they got. After paying nearly ten bucks for a movie, there was no way in hell I was going to sit thru it with these little brats yelling, laughing, and screaming. Right before the movie started my friend Mike turned towards me and said "I hope this is a real dirty movie. Full of nudity and sex to serve those parents right. I hope it gets real uncomfortable for them." Well my prayers were answered because seriously as soon as the movie began there was total and utter silence. I sorta felt bad at first thinking maybe I had judged them too fast. But once the movie featured it's first sex scene, which in my eyes was very tame, I began to hear giggle but quickly heard the movie tell them to stop. Well, the movie delivered as far as nudity, and sex went. I mean the film pretty much is about a curse you can pass on simply by screwing so take that loud family. Take that!
Going back to the movie…
I knew nothing about this film going in, which I think helped a lot. I viewed the trailer, and heard a few songs from the killer soundtrack which I instantly fell in love with. Going in, I had a clear mind which I believe lots of people need to do in this day of age. Stay away from the internet, stay away from spoilers, just go in and watch the movie. Well, the film started off very strong. In fact, part of me wants to go back and see it again for a second time knowing what I know now. Beautifully filmed, the movie's cinematography is simply breathtaking. It's rare in this day of age to have a movie just seem to fix so perfectly. Every frame, and I'm talking every frame was beautiful. The colors, the filters, even down to what the characters were wearing or how simple such shots as a girl swimming, or walking with her sister could be. Everything seemed on point. In fact, I think I could re-watch this movie a few dozen times and not get sick of it. The actors weren't all classically "Hollywood" attractive, but beautiful in a way as if you could actually believe that these were all kids from ages 17-20 just bumming around the suburbs. Like the lead with those big eyes, stunning. In fact it took me forever to remember she was the lead from The Guest, another huge favorite of mine that I watched earlier at the beginning of the year.
What I liked was how realistic this movie was. Sure a few things seemed put in there that really wouldn't fit (that shell book reader thing? I laughed at that character always on it or stuffing her face, but seeing it sorta took me out of the spell this film was casting.) Another was the old black and white movies, or what these kids did to pass the time. I know the movie wasn't supposed to be set exact time, but kids that age just sitting around playing cards and drinking from flasks. Honey, this is right outside of Detroit…something tells me they would have been up to "other" things. IayaknowwhatImean. Besides that, the movie didn't worry about always being so beautiful and I think that worked as a plus for it. In fact I found some of the regular flaws of a normal lower middle class household charming such as the dying plants, the TV on top of the old wooden panel TV, ect.
Some have said the movie did bore them at one point and seem to drag somewhat in the middle but I have to disagree. What you have is a hopeless situation. I'm sure I'm not the only one who saw how this film really was an unspoken warning of teen sex. Something horrible that you can't get rid of and kept passing it on such as an STD or AIDS. I mean had this movie been made in the 1980's maybe more idiot characters in slashers might want to keep it in their pants!
What creeps me out the most is the fact that this presence, or whatever it is…just walks. Like Michael Myers himself, this thing can change form whenever and just walks. I think this is a MILLION times more affective than had the monster kept popping out or running. So many scene from this movie with the thing just slowly approaching, taking it's time, and never breaking eye contact completely ruined me. In fact during the house scene where the tall guy slowly walks into the house I completely lost it. It's been YEARS since i've been that bothered watching a scene.
The pacing was perfect, showing how desperate these characters were becoming, and the stunning soundtrack which is complete sex to the ears added a million points in my book. My only big problem was the last ten or so minuets. It sorta seemed like the film didn't really know where to end so this is what they stuck with. I loved the ending shot, and the feeling that pretty much you would always be looking over your shoulder.
Honoring old school horror, It Follows is a movie that is visual candy to the eyes and ears. It's original, well written, and worth a re-watch. In fact, I would say the opening might be the strongest opening in a horror movie I've seen in years.
So without spoiling much more, go see It Follows and support original horror!