MIKE BOCKOVEN

Recommendation – It Follows

Oct
26

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How early is too early to declare something a “classic”?

Seriously, how soon? Because “It Follows” isn’t just a great horror movie, isn’t just a solid art film, isn’t just a movie that entertains and scares but it’s that rare breed – a film that mass audiences can get behind. Mark me, this Halloween a lot of people are going to discover this movie and in a year, it’s going to be a classic. Start using the word now and get it on the ground floor.

Instead of an exhaustive recap, let me go into what “It Follows” does well, which might take just as long. Starting with the tone, it establishes that very specific “arty/creepy” tone from the opening shot, a long tracking shot of a teen in some sort of unseen distress. That vibe continues apace even when things get a bit silly, as these sorts of horror films invariably do, and while the movie got a bit too silly for my taste in the third act, there are some instances where the even tone serves to only rachet up the dread.

From within that tone, director David Robert Mitchell sets up his rules and (quite famously) breaks them but never loses what makes the movie work. It also helps that he’s not a jump scare enthusiast, instead leaving the audience always scanning the background for the creeping doomd instead of counting the moments until the cat jumps out of the window or whatever.

If this sounds a bit slow for modern sensibilities, the tribumph of “It Follows” is that it’s not all atmosphere and dread but a unique and potent horror idea executed in a thoughtful and occasionally freaky way. The scares, when they come, are fantastic and if “It Follows” also gives you a bit to chew on thematically, that’s just one more reason to watch it.

You can find “It Follows” on VOD now and it’s a great Halloween watch (or whenever you’re in the mood for a classic).

 

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