Tuesday, July 7, 2015

More Than a Cautionary Tale

It Follows (2014) - Mitchell
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One could read It Follows as a throwback cautionary tale to discourage young people from being promiscuous, circa 1980. Yes the film's covered with a eerie synth score and moody, wide tracking shots, aka John Carpenter, but the similarity ends there. David Robert Mitchell (The Myth of the American Sleepover) has a real knack for realistic portrait of suburban life and its young inhabitants. He is really good at setting up mood with his creepy, wide, Greg Crewdson-ish lit night shots. His scares, most of them practical ones, are very effective.

Jay (Maika Monroe), a young woman, with her group of close friends, leads a normal life of a suburbanite in Michigan. Things take a weird turn when she has sex with Hugh (Jake Weary). Right after sex, he tells her a crazy story - he sees people following him and in order to not to die, he has to give the curse to someone else by having sex. He gives her some of the pointers in avoiding these ghoul-like creatures. Who are these people? Former victims? There is no explanation. He tells her because she is a girl and will easily transmit that curse to someone else, or something. Soon, she is seeing these creepy ghouls, slowly coming toward her. No one can see them except for her. But she needs to convince her friends that she is in danger.

But good times run out of steam at the end though. It Follows shows the possibility of horror movies as to where it can go and how it can be effective even if it has stupid Final Destination-ish premise. It also shows Mitchell's talent doesn't rely on making an effective horror movie, that he has something else going for it. But in the end, I can't help feeling deflated, as if watching a M. Night Shymalan movie. Hoping Mitchell does something completely different in his next outing.

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