It Follows (2014)
Directed by David Robert Mitchell
Running time: 100 minutes
Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
For nineteen-year-old Jay, Autumn should be about school, boys and week-ends out at the lake. But after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter, she finds herself plagued by strange visions and the inescapable sense that someone, something, is following her. Faced with this burden, Jay and her friends must find a way to escape the horrors that seem to be only a few steps behind.
I’ve said it here before but I rarely like modern horror films. I did a list of My Top Ten Horror Movies (HERE) and the most current one is from 1985 (Day Of The Dead but I’d also count A Nightmare On Elm Street 3, so… 1987. Dream Warriors rules!). That’s pretty sad – I suppose I’m showing my age. There have been a few okay ones such as The Descent and 28 Days Later, comedy ones like Tucker And Dale Vs Evil, and foreign ones such as Let The Right One In but, until the brilliant The Babadook came out recently, I was really disappointed with the horror genre these past 28 years. It Follows, although not perfect, is still in the very rare “good horror” category for me.
It Follows is a hard movie to describe. I’ll say it’s definitely going to be one that will divide horror fans. This is one of those horror movies that’s apparently been shown at a lot of film festivals since last summer & is now getting a full release in the UK (and in the US on March 13th). It’s had some glowing reviews from critics & very positive word of mouth. It’s a slow, atmospheric, low budget (as far as I can tell) psychological thriller. Those looking for loads of gore will need to go elsewhere as will those who want a fast-paced horror full of cheap jump scares. Not to say there aren’t jump scares in It Follows but it feels a bit more fresh and far less formulaic than something like The Conjuring, which I thought was also a pretty decent modern horror yet was still guilty of certain horror clichés.
I’m still trying to figure out what other movies can be compared to It Follows. Bear with me – I’m going to list a lot of them as I think it may (or may not!) give you a better idea of what to expect if you watch this one. At times I thought it felt like a Ti West film (especially The House Of The Devil) in that the pacing is very slow & a lot of attention is paid to creating the right sort of atmosphere & setting. I also thought it had the same sort of mood & pacing as the slightly underrated All The Boys Love Mandy Lane. From the little bit I’ve read about the movie online so far, I was surprised to see some comparisons to The Virgin Suicides as well. I can see that – it has similar characters & the same sort of mood (plus both share a similar Michigan setting, I suppose). The Virgin Suicides is definitely set in the 70s, however, but It Follows is one of those films that seems to make a point of not revealing the exact year. There’s just enough to show that it IS set now however the use of old cars, old televisions, black & white films, the clothing not being too specific to a time period, etc, makes you sometimes question when this is all taking place & gives it a timeless feel that I really like. Finally, certain scenes made me think of A Nightmare On Elm Street while the fantastic John Carpenter-esque score constantly brought Halloween to mind.
I should mention the characters & the acting. The main girl, Maika Monroe, is very good & young enough to actually be believable as a teenager. She’s also apparently in The Guest, which I haven’t yet seen. I loved that she had a real Nightmare On Elm Street “Final Girl” look about her (specifically a cross between Patricia Arquette then Tuesday Knight from A Nightmare On Elm Street 3 & 4). It will be interesting to see if she’s able to break away from the horror genre & be in other types of films. The other actors all did well and I liked their characters, which is rare for a horror film. One of my biggest complaints about horror movies is that the characters are so underdeveloped and hateful. In It Follows, they focus on Monroe, her sister, two of their friends & a neighbor boy. The friendships were believable as were the ways in which they tried to help their friend with her visions of being followed by people only she can see. They don’t always do the “smartest” things, as is the case with most horror characters, but they didn’t do anything to the point of being annoying.
I suppose I should wrap this up before I compare It Follows to every other horror film ever made. The thing is, it actually feels quite unique which is why I’m still trying to decide how I really feel about it & trying to figure out what other movies it could possibly be compared to. I do admit that I’m a sucker for a good score and I LOVED the retro synth score from Disasterpeace. It really helps set the mood & I do wonder if I’d have enjoyed the film as much without it. As I also said, the movie is very atmospheric & I loved the Midwest suburban setting in a non-specified time period. As for it being scary? Well, I have to admit that I didn’t find this one at all scary but very few movies manage to frighten me. It may work more with teenagers as It Follows is basically about not having sex before you’re ready and STDs & all that but, unfortunately, this slow-paced psychological type of horror probably isn’t the type of movie that teenagers will like. Overall, I enjoyed It Follows and always appreciate films that try something a bit different, especially in a genre as tired as horror. It’s not as good as The Babadook but I’m still happy enough to say I’ve actually seen two good modern horror films in the past year now.
My Rating: 8/10
I absolutely loved this film, I thought it was the most original horror idea of the decade! I enjoyed your write-up 🙂
Thank you! 🙂 I almost gave it an 8/10. May change my mind… 😉 It was refreshing to see something original in the horror genre!
More like “Shit Follows.”
Hahaha! At least it was better than Cockulus, right?! 😉
Maybe I was too hard on Cockulus.
No. It sucked & the acting was totally stiff.
Come on, no need to be a jerk.
I’m just yanking your chain!
That’s a load off my mind.
I just skimmed this as I want to see it and don’t want to know much about it, so – great post!
I’ll come back after I see it : )
Thanks!! 🙂 I love how we’re getting more & more movies before the U.S. these days. 😉 You BETTER come back when you’ve seen it!! As always, I tried to stay spoiler-free anyway. : )
I know you do but I want to go in as blind as possible…. I’ll come back : )
I can’t wait to see what you think. It’s very… Different. : )
The trailer makes it look like I’ll love it….
Great review lady!!
Thank you, Natasha! This really was a unique horror film… 🙂
Really want to see this. Your fine review only makes that more so.
Thank you!! I don’t know why but I struggled with writing this one. Probably as it’s so unique that it was hard to describe. I’d love to know what you think if you see it! I think some will hate it but others will love it. 🙂
Ooooh I’m glad you reviewed this because I’ve been wondering about it! Although now I’m torn–the fact that you compared it to Halloween and A Nightmare on Elm Street makes me excited. But I also see Ti West’s name in there, which makes me…less excited. Haha. I don’t hate West, but he hasn’t really convinced me that he’s all that great either. So I don’t know. Might give it a go. And I want to see The Guest, too! 🙂 Well done, Mutant!
Thanks, Cara! I watched a horror movie! Can you believe it?! : ) I honestly have NO clue what you (or Eric or Zoe – I think you’re the 3 who’ll watch this) will make of this one! It’s very different. Believe me – I’m WAY more a “Nightmare & Halloween” person than a Ti West person. This is definitely very Ti West in a way, though, so I had to put that out there. BUT! It’s also so unlike any other horror movie out there so… I dunno. I can’t wait for reviews from the three of you as I can’t predict if you will all love it or hate it or if you’ll all be divided about it. Yep, it’s one of those… : ) (okay – I’m gonna predict! Eric will love it, Zoe will like it okay, you won’t be quite sure how you feel but you won’t love it… Lol. But I could be WAY off!) ; )
Predictions are on the table! Let’s see how well you know your probies… 😉
horror??? think i’ll skip it!
Hehe! Rob – you’d absolutely HATE this movie…. ; )
consider it skipped 🙂
Hmmmm, this looks like something I would like to see!
Zoe! Yes! I think you’ll definitely want to give this one a watch. I finally watched an Eric & Zoe movie! Lol! : ) I’m really curious what both of you will make of this one. It’s VERY “different”….
xD I will have to keep my eyes peeled then!
Hey I always love how your reviews are spoiler free. I try to do the same.
By the way – what films have actually managed to scare you? I must be a total wimp!
I don’t know… I just don’t find many movies THAT scary. Slasher flicks never scare me at all but a creepy atmosphere does. The Shining creeps me out (and I LOVE it). Also, foreign horror seems a lot more scary, I suppose. Things like Ring & A Tale Of Two Sisters did give me the creeps. The Orphanage a bit too. : ) Thanks! I do my best to give nothing away in my reviews. : )
I loved this horror. This and Babadook mark what horror should be, in my opinion.
YES! Exactly. I loved The Babadook. This isn’t quite as good as that one but it’s still original, which is more than can be said about most horror.
Must see this! Been hearing so much great buzz. Jealous you got to it first, lol 🙂 Great review by the way. I was impressed when you honestly admitted to being a bit on the fence with the overall experience and how you felt about it. Will make watching the film much more interesting for me. Thanks!
Aw – thanks, Vic! : ) I always try to be totally honest and, even when I like something, I try to point out the flaws as well. This has actually gone UP in my estimation quite a bit since my review & it’s high on my list of favorites for 2015 so far. Like Chappie, though, I think it will divide opinion. However, I think this is a much better film. It’s very different from other modern horror. I really want to know what you think of this one now! I’ve been waiting ages to find out what my American buddies on here think of this. ; )
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It Follows kind of sounds like The Ring but with STDs instead of a video tape. Ha ha. I keep hearing really positive things – your review included. I’ll definitely check it out. 🙂
Lol. Yep! That’s a pretty good way of describing it. 😉 Would love to know your thoughts if you see it! A lot more positive reviews are appearing now that it’s out in America 🙂
I’m not typically a horror girl, because I am a wussy and these movies scare me, but for some reason I do want to see this one. Sounds interesting and I like the vintage feel to it.
Yeah – I’m really not that big on horror (especially modern day horror). This one is quite different, however. You should check it out! And The Babadook especially if you haven’t already (can’t remember if you have…) 🙂
No I haven’t seen Babadook, I am seriously scared. haha. such a wuss. My friend just texted me if I wanted to go see It follows. She has probably asked me every week and I keep delaying it. 😦
Hehe. I’m pretty wussy too… You should watch them both, though. Watch in daylight with a friend! 🙂 I didn’t find It Follows at all scary, actually.
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Reblogged this on Cinema Parrot Disco and commented:
Today I’m reblogging my review of It Follows. I very rarely like modern horror movies but I thought It Follows was great.
I’d also like to apologize now for having a couple of lazy reblogs this week. I have family visiting and didn’t have time to get enough new posts together for the whole week. But I have new posts for Tuesday (an IMDB Top 250 horror(ish) crime film that I watched), Wednesday (a review of a creepy British classic from 1945) & Thursday (my final horror-themed top ten of the month). And on Friday I’ll reblog my very favorite horror film from recent years. 🙂
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