Horror night number four. It Follows (2014)

A young woman dates a man who infects her with a sexually transmitted… haunting.

It’s an interesting idea for a movie, similar to the “cursed object” theme, with the “object” in this case being physical intimacy. That too plays on the long standing slasher film trope of the sexually promiscuous teens being the killers preferred victims.

The acting is good, and many of the scenes are beautifully shot. Despite the premise, there is actually very little sex, nudity or gore. The dialog too seems to be kept to a minimum, giving the movie a feel I experience more with European thrillers.

I didn’t hate it, but I’m not sure I can say I liked it either. My two biggest problems were the editing and the dialog.

At the beginning of the movie, the filmmakers make these really odd editing choices of having short cuts interrupting scenes that go backward and forward in time. I really don’t know why they did that. It doesn’t relate to what happens in the story, the way similar ideas did in say, Donnie Darko or The Butterfly Effect, and they don’t carry it through to the end, it’s just the first third of the movie. Maybe they were trying to say something with the technique, but if so, the message was lost on me.

The dialog also let me down. It wasn’t bad, I think I just expected more. Minimal dialog works great in some movies. In my review of A Quiet Place, I mentioned how that was a feature of the film, it fit, because staying silent was a requirement of the world they built, but here in It Follows… let me just say, this was the quietest bunch of teens I have ever seen. They didn’t actually discuss anything, no research on what was going on, they didn’t even really talk so much as speak their lines at each other. No real organic, natural sounding back and forth.

I think what I’m trying to say is that the ideas of the movie was great, the story was good, but the actual screenplay needed more work. That’s not really a criticism of David Robert Mitchell, everyone has strengths and weaknesses. I freaking love Stephen King, but when he writes the screenplays himself for adaptations of his own novels, they are usually not that great, simply because translating from one medium to another requires an adjustment in thinking that isn’t easy for a lot of people. It Follows is, I feel, a movie that could probably be made better with a reboot.

I am definitely in the minority however. The movie has a 96% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and 66% from audiences. So, let me know what you think if you give it a try.

On a closing note, I just want to ask anyone else who has seen the movie, what the hell was with the opening scene? We NEVER find out who the girl was or how she ties into the rest of the story? Was this before or after the main events? I mean you can’t really tell when it happened, given the time jumping that we get a little later. That bugged me.

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