The Most Original Horror Film In Years
David Robert Mitchell. Remember this name, because it will be a household name very soon. David Robert Mitchell is a young director who now has two great films under his belt. The first is the Myth of the American Sleepover. Released in 2010, this film is a great "teenager coming of age" film. With a love story under his belt, it only made sense that Mitchell would have his next film be a horror film, right? Well, to say he knocks it out of the park is something of an understatement. This film is easily the most original and well executed horror film to grace the genre since 2012's Cabin in the Woods. Only difference? It Follows is absolutely terrifying, whereas Cabin in the Woods is just somewhat creepy in a humorous way. On paper, this premise shouldn't be all that scary. After all the paranormal thing that follows the main character is limited by several rules that the film (amazingly) follows. It can't run, it can't go through walls, and it can't just appear right in front of you out of thin air. It just walks. Slowly. Deliberately. Right at you. And it's terrifying
So, how is this movie as scary as it is? The cinematography. This is some of the best uses of one-shots I've ever seen. The film successfully uses the famous one-shot that so many moviegoers crave to create an incredible amount of tension and terror. But it's not just the cinematography. See....here's the problem with the horror genre. It's very rare to get an original premise that's also well executed. Oftentimes you get either a poorly executed original premise, (2014's Clown-an original take on the demon possession story since he lives inside a clown suit, but God was Andy Powers, the lead actor, terrible) or a well executed stale premise. (2013's The Conjuring-great film, but how many supernatural-demon-posses-someone films have we gotten in the last 10 years?) It's very rare that you get both. You got both with The Cabin in the Woods. And you get both here. Maika Monroe is phenomenal here as the lead. She is asked to do a lot, as a huge part of this film is just her, and she nails it. This film lives or dies on her performance. And it definitely lives. The young supporting cast is also excellent. But I must really compliment the extras who play the creature that follows. These extras are molded into being incredibly creepy people, and were a large part of why this film is as scary as it is.
There really isn't a whole lot this film does wrong. Um.....I felt the ending was not as strong as the rest of the film. It felt incomplete and thus in today's Hollywood incomplete means sequel bait, but I'm honestly ok with that. However, the sequel better be as good as the original, and also bring something new to the table. Otherwise the inevitable It Follows 2 will fall into the vast amount of worthless sequel cash-grabs within the horror genre. Remember how good the original Paranormal Activity was? Or the original Insidious? I know. I can't either because of all the crappy sequels. How many Saws have their been? Seven? Do we really get excited for a new Texas Chainsaw Massacre film? Stop it, guys. Everybody says Hollywood is running out of ideas, but nowhere is this worse than in the horror and comedy genres. But I have hope. As long as there are directors like James Wan and David Robert Mitchell around making horror films, there's still hope. I can't wait to see what Mitchell does next.
The Critique: an original and well executed premise. The best film to come out of the horror genre in a loooooong time.
The Recommendation: everyone who loves this genre owes it to themselves to watch this film. And everyone else? Get some friends, some beer, and some herbal refreshments, (if you're in a place where that's legal, of course) and watch this film. You will have a grand ol' time.
The Verdict: 9/10 Damn Near Perfect