I love movies. I love writing about them. Hope you like reading what I write.
You may be reading this in the assurance that I am a true connoisseur of cinema. That I am a total expert and there is no film that can daunt me. That would be untrue. For, you see, while I believe that all art has worth and I believe that there is no “bad” genre of film, I am in fact a scaredy-cat when it comes to horror movies.
It Follows is a supernatural horror movie from writer and director David Robert Mitchell. Its story is that of a high school girl who is taken over by some spirit presence which she sees following her wherever she goes.
The set up of this film follows the old cliches of this sub-genre of horror (sex, beautiful teenagers etc) yet that shouldn’t stop enjoyment. Cliches are an inevitability in movies. It’s the mastery of those cliches which can bring about a great picture.
I like horror. It’s a fascinating and extremely effective genre when done well. Like all film, it relies on manipulating the audience to give an emotional, visceral reaction.
What I find is that the more I connect to the characters in a film, the more frightened I am of their predicament.
That’s the major difference I found between Alien and Prometheus. The former tried to be a straight-up scary movie, and succeeded in becoming one of the most effective of its kind. Whereas Prometheus attempted to be an artistic reflection of philosophy and creation, which worked to a certain extent, packaged up in a horror movie, by the same director as Alien. Prometheus failed because it presented characters I wanted to die, unlike Alien which got me to care about them.
It Follows gives us characters, which I don’t think are the most memorable, but they are certainly not unlikable and I didn’t want them to get hurt by the titular, terrifying, evil presence.
That presence, thanks to some ingenious direction and pacing, meant that I would often cover my eyes and ears in the cinema. Yes. I had to look away.
After the movie’s really clever ending, a woman sitting next to me asked if I was OK. I was truly embarrassed that the film had got me so well that I was visibly scared in my seat.
On my way to the bus from the cinema, I found myself laughing at how often I would look behind me when I saw my own shadow. I cannot fault this movie on that front. This was a scary movie, which scared me.
There are a couple of nitpicks in the film’s logic I can go into, but I don’t find much enjoyment in ruining a film for some people by pointing out plot-holes before they even see it.
I now have sour feelings toward David Robert Mitchell. But in a way that I think will make the man very happy.
Recommended Scenario: If you want a movie to give you the heebie-jeebies this side of Halloween.
If what I have written tells you that you would like this film, you can book tickets to see it at your local Cineworld here.