it follows a review by Jeff Hernandez
The other week I told the kids that I would take them to see a movie, which they seemed excited for, so last night I told them to put on their shoes, “We’re going to the movies!” and I took them to see the movie It Follows.
The trailer pretty much tells you what the story is about, something- “it” (a hex? A demon? Herpes?) is given to you through sexual intercourse. “It” will follow you and kill you, unless you give it to someone else.
“This thing, it’s gonna follow you. Somebody gave it to me, and I passed it to you. Wherever you are, it’s somewhere walking straight for you. All you can do is pass it to someone else.” Is what the voice over says in the trailer… and that’s pretty much what happens in the movie. Guy gives girl “this thing” and girl is chased by the slowly walking “thing” which mostly takes the guise of creepy looking people in hospital gowns for the rest of the movie.
It’s been getting pretty rave reviews, and stylistically it certainly deserves all the praise. The movie has an odd period piece feel to it. There are no indications as to when the movie takes place outside of the early 90s (though it takes place in Detroit. I’ve never been to Detroit, but I’m guessing it’s not totally out of the realm of possibility for Detroit to look stuck in the early 90s due to its poor economy).
The movie does a wonderful job of creating tension, making the viewer feel uncomfortable (though sometimes I really think that is due to the unsettling nature of how bad current day Detroit looks in the background of the film) and it is nice to see a horror movie that harkens back to the early horror movie morality tales (if you have promiscuous sex, something bad will happen… like old people in hospital gowns will walk toward you slowly… which would definitely creep me out… old people are scary, especially if they’re sick).
The problem for me is, that ultimately all horror movies fall into the same category, obvious. Sure, a jump scare may get me occasionally, but I rarely get scared watching horror movies because they are so formulaic.
Music builds, protagonist character looks past a dark corner, evil pops out… or no evil pops out, whew, sigh of relief, evil pops out.
There have been attempts to circumvent this problem- like the found footage Paranormal Activity movies (no music to cue the audience into what’s about to happen) but I mostly watch those movies to watch the practical effects. (I like imagining poor young production assistants having to hide behind the corners of the beds having to pull the bed sheets off). Honestly, I’m just not scared of ghost, or goblins, or demons, or spirits, or the undead. I think that if I found out I had a ghost living with me in my apartment I would simply feel slightly less concerned about the amount of time I spend talking to myself while walking around in sweat pants. In fact, I’d save it a seat while we watch Netflix together… it’s always nice to have company.
I’m far more frightened about real things that could really happen to me.
I just watched the movie Flight, with Denzel Washington, and the 10 minute plane crash scene made me seriously reconsider flying ever again. Forget my plans to fly for summer vacation, I'm driving! I just need to make sure not to watch the car crash scene from Final Destination 2 before leaving.
To this day I refuse to go near the ocean… thanks Jaws, and Castaway. I had a mild panic attack the first time I saw the Gravity trailer on a big screen, and I’m never going to space now.
I just never really find myself even remotely close to scenarios where I’m walking hand in hand with my beautiful 23-year-old girlfriend in a darkened wooded area, or a cemetery, where we have sex and then get chased by a large man wearing pig mask wielding a large knife… first off I don’t have a 23-year-old beautiful girlfriend. I have Netflix. (I supposed I could be walking through the woods watching the Karate Kid through a Netflix app on my phone, only to be chased by a large man in a pig mask wielding a large knife, but come one, who’s gonna have that kind of 4G coverage in a wooded area?)
And let’s say, for giggles, that I not only believed in creepy crawlies, and that they were chasing me (or walking toward me in a menacing fashion)… no one ever tries to creatively deal with the situation. Why are you always running people in horror movies? Has no one seen Predator? Arnold fights! Set up a snare trap like the Ewoks in Jedi… You know what makes Jason Voorhees less scary, if he’s upside down caught in a snare trap.
Listen, I’m not gonna tell you to see or not see It Follows. Go see it. Make up your own mind. Maybe you’ll be terrified to sleep at night? Maybe you’ll stop having sex. Maybe you’ll start having sex. Who knows.
So with that in mind… I will now give you three ways to escape the “It” should you find yourself in need of escaping a horrible demon that’s chasing you because you made poor life decisions.
The snare trap. You're running through the woods already. Just set it up, run through the woods... It gets caught in the trap... leave it there for the bears.
This one takes a bit more setting up... make a rudimentary cardboard cut-out of yourself, set it up in front of a treadmill, turn on the treadmill, get It to walk on the treadmill and then just sneak away. It will continuously walk after cardboard cut-out you indefinitely.
Buy a bus ticket. Hop on a bus. Have It get on the bus. Hop off the back of the bus. Bus takes off to Albuquerque. Wave by to It as it stares at you out the back of the bus.
There are plenty of variations on these themes… get the “it” to walk into quick drying cement, hop on and off a plane and have “it” fly to Florida, or maybe just buy a plane ticket to Hawaii… can “it” walk through the ocean? Maybe just stand blindfold “it”, can it follow you if it can see you?
For the record… if I were to write a horror movie it would be about a young man or woman, fresh out of school, full of vim and vigor, working their first job, trying to climb that ladder only to find 15 years had passed and they’re still stuck at the same dead-end job… then they survive in a plane crash over the ocean only to be eaten by a shark… their last thought being… that was my life? Shudder. That’s terrifying.