I fully admit I was skeptical when this started making its way through various film festivals. The buzz it generated just seemed too good to be true. Then there was the burning question: what exactly is “It”? Well, I spent $10 to find out simply because my curiosity got the best of me. I believe I can also speak for my fellow horror fanatics when I say this isn’t exactly a movie you have high hopes for. Horror is my first love, but unfortunately it does seem to be dying out. That being said, does It Follows live up to the hype, and does it re-energize the genre?
Let me start by saying I loved the retro feel of it all. The film is based in Detroit, and it manages to use the industrial, run-down aesthetic to its advantage. Simply put, it’s pretty intense. The “scary” moments are couple with this pounding electronic soundtrack, and it creates a sense of distortion. To add to the confusion, several shots are done with a rotating camera. Every time it comes back to the beginning there’s something in the scene that just doesn’t seem quite right. Mix that with some solid acting, and you have something that can be appreciated by any horror lover.
But…it does have its downsides. The biggest one being what in the hell “It” really is. Is it a demon? A ghost? A glitch in reality? We never find out. Another thing I’m not too sure about is how “It” is passed from person to person. Sex seems to be an easy explanation of how to spread it around, but the whole thing comes off as an hour and 40 minute safe sex P.S.A. The random partners and just a general lack of understanding how the monster (?) works brings down what could’ve been something really promising. I give it 3/5. I absolutely love the fact the plot is something new, and the overall feel is kind of trippy. What I don’t really like is how superficial it all seems, and the fact it was left open ended for the possibility of a sequel. I say explain the first try. Don’t use a sequel as an excuse to not finish up plot points.