I finally got around to seeing It Follows! Finally.
And it totally deserves all the positive hype it has received. It's a really great horror movie. Plain and simple. And yet, and yet, it also bugged me. Bugged me to my bones.
But let me go back and focus on the awesome for a moment!
Tapping into the horror veins of the 1960's and '70s (think the love child of Carnival of Souls and Texas Chainsaw Massacre), this incredibly haunting tale will absorb all your attention with little effort and a whole lot of scare. A remarkable feat, in my opinion.
The cinematography is completely stunning. Filmed in the Detroit area, It Follows, sadly, had a ready-made horrific backdrop to an already frightening story. This actually bugged me a little bit. While the story is creeping along, curling your toes, you're given a sweeping view of the devastation left behind by unjust industry. My feelings were torn, is what I'm saying. Where for a moment I was merrily getting creeped out, suddenly I'm sad and angry....
The dialog is great, and the acting is well done and compelling. Although I can't say that I sympathized with any of the characters, I was certainly interested in their goings on. Okay, wait - I'm going back to the bugging again. Although the acting and characters were perfect for the film, I simply didn't like anyone. Did It Follows do this on purpose - create characters that frustrate you? If so, well done! It worked. If not, perhaps it was just me who found everyone irritating... What made them so irritating, you ask? Well, I can't say exactly. Perhaps it was because everyone seemed to have the energy and ambition of a slug (until IT showed up, of course). Or perhaps it's because everyone was way too teenagery. Way too teenagery. But, again, it worked for the film, worked really damn well.
The story and plot: Fresh. New. Original. Dare I say, Primeval. And yet, and yet. I think this is what bugged me the most. This is a story about STDs. Sure, although it creates a totally new type of horror story, it certainly is not new in the real world. Especially in the impoverished Detroit area! For crying out loud...
I grew up in a small Midwest town. As a teen, sex, pregnancies and STDs were taboo talk (and yet occurred, a lot). This still irks me because it's still happening. Stupid abstinence-only teachings, limited access to reproductive care, talk, education... bunch of crap... [continues to mumble angrily for a while]
Although this movie doesn't abhor sex, it certainly makes the consequences frightening - I love that as a horror movie, I hate it as a reality. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why this movie bugged me.
This is a great horror movie, and one I'm adding to the Horror Habit Favorites list. It's certainly not one that I'll be forgetting anytime soon, that's for sure.
Suggested pairing: have a bunch of your teenage friends over for a party! No, I'm kidding. Instead, make your place as dark, stark, sad, and depressing as possible. Ready yourself for a soundtrack that will shiver your timbers. Have a measly bowl of stale popcorn at your side. Leave one lamp on and cover your couch with old quilts and afghans. Keep one bottle of wine or some Surge soda handy, sip slowly.