It Follows (2015)

This is a horror movie that never had me scared. That said, I thought this was a very good movie that had a fresh take on the same old kind of slasher film that has been knocking around since Jason and Freddy tore it up. I had heard that this was a good movie from periphery sites, but I didn't delve into it too deep - I wanted to be surprised by whatever happened.

Turns out, there isn't much to the story. The slasher is invisible to people who are not on his/her kill list, and it will move on to the next person only when the current target either dies or has sex with the next person. So, to survive (once you've been added to the list) you have to have sex with someone you don't mind giving a death sentence to, and you have to hope that they are hot enough to have sex with someone else before they get caught by the thing.

The thing "follows" by walking slowly toward the target at all times. Don't try to do the math on some of this stuff, either. It is reminiscent of when Jason or Freddy stalk their prey - they can walk and catch up to the innocent person, even though the target is running. Well, this thing can catch you even when you drive for hours and hours. The math is not the friend of this idea.

But these things are little bits of the whole. One of the very good things about this movie is the direction. I would say that it's the camera work, but I get the feeling they were getting a lot of direction the whole time, and some of these shots are fantastic. There is the first scene, for example, that involves a girl running from an unseen entity, and the camera does a complete 360 to follow her out of the house, around the street a bit, and then back into the house, back out of the house, into the car, and down the street. It was seamless and impressive. What it wasn't was gorgeous. I don't know what filters or lighting or camera models they were using, but the movie went for more of a dirty, raw look, and these kinds of shots needed to be more artistic and pure.

The movie drips with metaphors like the bad guy as a sexual disease or the unrelenting onslaught of time as it progresses inexorably toward the dull monotony of adulthood. Speaking of which, we are expected to think that these actors are in high school. Why? Why did they not just make them college kids? It would explain the completely absent parents don't put any restrictions on these kids. Instead, we get high schoolers who are clearly too old, have no parental supervision, have free access to cars and firearms, and spend weeknights in the houses of friends of the opposite sex.

The movie itself is still very good. It's not scary, but the relentless pursuit of the blonde leading lady keeps the pace of the movie up through most of the story. My wife did not find the movie compelling, as it is pretty much a movie about a slow, methodical chase, but I thought that it was nice to see someone thinking outside the box, even though they were relying a lot on principles that came before.

Direction was very good
Production quality was hampered by budget
Acting was certainly passable
Camerawork was very good
Story was pretty good

Bottom Line: An interesting take on the slasher film. It shows a spark I'd like to see in subsequent movies.



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