Saturday, April 11, 2015
Sorry for yelling. But really, being afraid during a movie is a great time and I was really looking forward to the movie It Follows. It's been awhile since Hollywood has released a decent horror film. Last year, we were blessed with horrible films like Oculus, Ouija, and Annabelle. None of them were scary and every single one of them failed to deliver for most horror movie fans. They relied too much on jump scares, predictable plots, and well...lots and lots of boredom and an extreme lack of character development.
That's where It Follows comes in. Even with a weird plot, it somehow delivers an effective and suspenseful horror experience. It's not groundbreaking by any means, but it entertained me for a good two hours and brought me back to the days of 80s horror movies like Friday the 13th or Halloween.
The first thing you need to do when going into this movie is get rid of everything you've heard about the movie being symbolic of what an STD does to someone who has it. While, yes, I can see the connection...let's go ahead and put that aside as a very far-out (while weirdly valid) interpretation of the source material. Now that I've said that....let me explain the plot of this movie....
It Follows follows (hehe) the exploits and adventures of a young high school girl named Jay. After sleeping with her boyfriend, she is unfortunate enough to be the recipient of a curse...the curse being that she is constantly being followed by a supernatural entity (it can take the shape of any human being). She has to avoid being touched by this...thing...otherwise she'll be dismembered and mutilated. The funny thing about this curse is that it's passed on through sexual contact...so she received the curse from that douchey boyfriend (he knew about the curse and was attempting to pass it on). The only way to get rid of the curse is to sleep with someone else....the demon will then move on and FOLLOW that person you slept with...
Ok, fine. It's probably about STDs. PRACTICE SAFE SEX (OR DON'T HAVE SEX AT ALL) AND YOU WON'T BE FOLLOWED BY A DEMON. That's what they should teach in high school health classes. Honestly, they should just show this movie and scare the kids into abstinence.
Regardless of that, this movie remains rather effective. It has the feel of an 80's horror movie and keeps the viewer very unsettled throughout the duration of the movie. I honestly had no idea what was going to happen and was on edge throughout. The most effective part of this movie HAS to be the music. It's eerie, unsettling, and all-around absolutely perfect. I actually have listened to the soundtrack a few times on Spotify since watching the movie. I enjoy the feel of consistent dread apparently, since I listen to that soundtrack during normal hours...
This movie also works because the characters feel real. Jay spends the majority of the movie trying to rid the curse while being helped out by her group of misfit friends. All of her friends feel like real people and the types of people most of us would know in real life. This is especially true of her friend/childhood crush Paul. Honestly, he reminded me of me in high school. Kinda naive, kinda pathetic...but yet oddly charming. I loved the portrayal by relatively new actor Kier Gilchrist. Check him out...doesn't he look familiar to EVERYONE?!?!
It Follows also doesn't rely on jump scares to achieve it's purpose. If anything, it focuses on keeping the viewer unsettled and consistently guessing. There are many times throughout the movie that the music/scene is building towards a jump scare but ultimately ends in absolutely nothing except a calm look out a window. That, in my opinion, is more effective than jump scaring me every five minutes. It keeps you unsettled and on edge. In the end, once the scares actually happen, they are much more effective. The movie builds you up and works up to the best scare possible. Quite impressive I would say.
The movie also stuck with me for a good amount of time after viewing it. I am now constantly double-checking if something is following me. Oddly enough, since the movie, someone has always been randomly walking behind me. A bit unsettling. That's the mark of a good horror movie as well...does it keep somewhat of an effect on you long after the movie was seen? Does it stick with you?
It Follows does all those things and more. Give it a watch with your lady/guy friend. Enjoy the ride. I give it 5 Wallsters or whatever...I still haven't come up with a valid rating system. ;)