"It follows" has an incredible fascinating premise. A girl has an apparently innocent sexual encounter only to be discovered that something/someone is following slowly and if it reaches her, she will die.
1. Concept: "It follows" is packed with atmosphere and that is good. Written and directed by David Robert Mitchell, the concept of sexual encounter that leads to travesty can be misinterpreted as a STD. The naive? girl who after her first? sexual encounter feels threatened and constantly tries in vain to avoid something that keeps following in undeniably creepy.
2. Scare factor: Since "it follows" is primarly a horror movie, we should talk about how much of a punch it has. Well, here things are a bit confusing. Although the film is pacted with atmosphere that bring lots of vibes of the early Carpenter flicks ("Halloween", "Escape from NY", "The thing"), the jump scares despite being old-fashioned and strip from any CGI bullshit they are surprisingly not scary. A reason could be that I have a bunch of losers who did not stop talking well for the entire film. But I reckon watching during the night could be more scary than most of the horror films today.
3. Direction: which brings me to the direction. Mitchell has done a wonderful job of creating atmosphere even in the smallest of room or in a large open area like a lake house. His slow methodological approach for "it follows" manages to create a large amount of tension and suspense with "it" being basically always present and unstoppable. DRM seems to have been taken early notes from Carpenter himself as the jump scares, 360 virtuoso panoramic shots, unnerving creepy figures and synthesized music all point out an evolving filmmakers that really stands out in the horror field.
|Maika Monroe is a likable heroine|
4. Cast: and this is where things get out of my taste. The cast seems to be simply ok but sometimes they strike as real amateurs trying to act. Although the main characters manages to convey enough emotional to follow her towards her hell journey, sometimes her actions are so off key that you cannot relate with her.
5. Story: how can a film has a story that something is following you and if it catches you die? Well, Mitchell, manages to make the "it" slow but steady so you can escape for a bit but then again in a few hours of days you have to run again. So the entire film become a bit like a chase thriller with some solid scares left and right focusing primarily on the emotions of the protagonist. Having said that, there are some plot holes around that really stand out. Why no one is talking to the police? Or to a therapist? Or to an adult? And towards the end, the film really start to lose focus as more and more characters are involved whereas the story does not get the explanation it deserve or even a bit of mythology to establish its monster as if the writer was rushing to finish his idea or running out of ideas for his... idea. Therefore the last 3rd of the film undermines the entire effort.
Who knows though? Maybe with the next flick, DRM could give some pretty neat horror but for now "It follows" is good enough for a nice night with red wine and pizza. Do not expect it though to be a masterpiece as everyone is claiming it to be.
+ excellent atmosphere
+ intriguing concept
+ great music
+ solid direction
+ no CGI bullshit
- a bit amateurish acting
- sudden ending