So naturally when I saw the reviews for It Follows and they were all making these grand declarations that it is the best horror movie in a decade, my eyes began to roll. I’ve heard this song before and people only say these kinds of things because they have forgotten what true horror movies are like. Hollywood has fed the movie goer so many watered down PG-13 versions of “horror” movies that when actual blood or boobs pop up on the screen, they don’t know how to react.
It’s similar to when Ashton Kutcher got all excited and married Demi Moore after hitting it for the first time; it’s not like he hadn’t had sex before, it’s just that he hadn’t had sex with a desperate and experienced 40 year old woman. I mean come on, she was married to John freaking McClain for years, you think she didn’t know how to do work in the bedroom? The guy dates porn stars; she had to keep him satisfied somehow!
So the one good thing It Follows had going for it is that it has Maika Monroe as the lead actress in it, she also starred in last year’s The Guest; a movie that actually does qualify for the “best horror movie in a decade” tag. She seems to be on the path of becoming the new queen of scream as she is following the Jamie Lee Curtis script to a tee; playing the beautiful victim who doesn’t expose her boobs in any of her horror movies.
The issue with her character in this movie is that she doesn’t follow the rules of horror in order for her to stay alive. Wes Craven broke them down in Scream; you can never look back when you’re running, never say I’ll be back because you won’t, and you can never do drugs, alcohol, or have sex because of the sin factor.
Well it’s the last one that gets her into trouble. After falling for her date’s charms, she gives it up in the back seat of some old school car that probably doesn’t even have working air conditioning and once she does, he lets her know that he has passed “it” on to her. Genital herpes? No, that would be a lot easier to deal with. He passed on some weird curse that now has random ghosts following her in an attempt to kill her. They move slowly but they are smart; and she, along with everyone else who is cursed, are the only ones who can see them.
Now the movie does sound cool, and there are actually quite a few things in this film that I really liked. But in the end, all this movie was, was another I Know What You Did Last Summer, just with a better score and more sex. So because the ghosts move so slowly, you can simply run or drive away to buy yourself some time but they eventually do catch up to you. But because they move so slowly, it takes a lot of the fear factor away. They just seem like dumb zombies that you can play funny tricks on, if you were so inclined. While this movie gives away hints that it takes place in the 80’s, the tricks that worked well in 80’s horror movies don’t necessarily apply today.
They should have adjusted like 28 Days Later did and given their ghosts the ability to run; that at least would have added some tension to the movie.
I will however give It Follows this, there are a decent amount of freaky things that do happen in it, especially when the victims are trapped in a room with these stalking ghosts. One of the film’s best scenes takes place in the indoor pool in the film’s climax where there is a standoff with the annoying spirit. But the problem is, you have to actually get to these situations, there are far too many dead scenes where it’s simply kids reading pointless poems or having socio-economic discussions about 8 Mile Road.
The score thankfully heightens the fear factor at times, and the director does a decent job of utilizing slow motion capture in a few scenes to further add style to his “revolutionary” film but this movie has far too many issues for it to deserve the love it’s been getting. If you do wind up seeing this film, I strongly suggest that you lower your expectations before doing so.
I rate this movie as kind of WEAK!