It Follows (2014) - Interesting concept falling flat - 5/10 (15/04/15)
"It Follows" is an independent supernatural horror movie that takes place in and around Detroit, Michigan. The nightmarish story, the electronic score and the use of wide-angel lenses are inspired by classic American and European horror movies from the sixties and seventies. Especially the works of Dario Argento, John Carpenter and George Romero come to my mind.
The main idea of the movie is fairly interesting. After sexual encounters, people are somehow infected since they are slowly followed by a supernatural entity that can take any appearance and which is trying to brutally kill them. Only infected people can see the danger while the supernatural entity isn't dangerous for anybody else as long as they don't try to interfere on purpose. It's impossible to kill the supernatural entity but one can chase it away by violently attacking it. Infected victims usually try to pass on the curse by having sexual encounters on their own but this doesn't seem to be an efficient solution either. The whole thing gets even more mysterious since it's not possible to pass the curse to everybody. Some people get infected during sexual encounters while others don't.
The movie tells the story of a female college student that got infected by her new boyfriend who tries to hide his real identity and whereabouts. Along with her sister and several friends, she tries in vain to escape from the supernatural entity. She also tries to pass on the curse to several friends who want to help her. The movie features in fact three quite boring sex scenes and much more useless sexual innuendo that only distracts from the story. Since the danger is still present, the college student and her friends finally try to set a risky trap to kill the strange entity for good.
The movie has sparked numerous interpretations in regard to the source of the supernatural entity and the film's symbolism. Some critics believe that this movie is simply portraying a nightmare and that there is no deeper meaning behind it. Others have interpreted the film as a parable on sexually-transmitted diseases and its consequences. Some people claim that the movie deals with primal anxieties about intimacy and first sexual relationships. As you can see, there are a lot of interesting questions around this phenomenon but none of these are actually answered.
Sadly, the interesting concept, the great vintage atmosphere, the brilliant score and the clever use of wide camera angles aren't enough to make the entire movie enjoyable. One of the main flaws of the movie is its constantly slow pace and lack of gripping tension. I have no problem with restrained supernatural horror movies but most of them get more and more menacing and end in a really intensive way. This isn't the case at all with this film. One constantly expects the movie to get a little boost as time goes by but it ultimately falls flat. Another problem is the generic acting and the exchangeable characters. I'm aware of the fact that this movie tries to portray a bunch of ordinary teenagers that get shaken up by things they can't fight or understand but the actors and especially actresses are so dull that one simply doesn't care about their fates at all.
In the end, this overrated movie wastes a really mysterious plot idea and great inspirations from classic genre films for a lackluster flick without any true highlights. Since this amorphous film doesn't have a real ending, there are rumours about a sequel with another interesting story. In this potential project, some infected teenagers try to trace the supernatural entity back to find out where it came from and how the curse started. That's why I'm not yet giving up on this project but as it is now, I would recommend you to skip this over-hyped revival flick and wait for a more interesting second instalment.« Second part of the 2015 Stanley Cup podcastInsurgent (2015) - Conquering the genre throne and an impressive improvement over the first part - 8/10 (16/04/15) »
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