By Jerome Reuter
Much Like The Babadook, this particular film was hyped. Every review I read, had nothing but good things to say. I finally got around to watching this one recently. Although it certainly does have its’ flaws, it certainly deserves the praise it has received. It Follows, is a supernatural horror film, released earlier this year. It contains all the psychology, suspense, and paranoia, that have been absent from great amount of modern releases.
First of all, what exactly is ‘it’? It, in this particular case, a supernatural curse of sorts. Passed on from person to person, through sexual intercourse. Which, was the first angle that caught my attention. It almost seemed to be a slight homage to David Cronenberg’s Shivers. Which itself, was a commentary on the HIV virus, in the days of the sexual revolution. The curse consists of being followed by an apparition, only visible to the afflicted. The latest victim happens to be a well to do college student, named Jay.
There are two rules I judge most horror films by. First off, as I’ve stated before real horror is what you don’t see. The second: feel it first, think about it second. That also happens to be one of the key rules, for essential film storytelling. As the audience, we are the voyeur, so we see what is attacking our protagonist. It’s the reactions of the surrounding characters, that envelop an atmosphere of paranoia, and the unknown. They’re the witness to unseen forces at work, and Jay’s psychological breakdown.
Much like Rosemary’s Baby, the audience, and the protagonist know the truth. It’s the environment that surrounds the events, that build the suspense to a fever pitch. I have to say, although the film progresses at a slow boil, you can’t take your eyes off the pot.
One of this films greatest attributes, is the camerawork. Someone was definitely paying attention in film school, when Andre Tarkovsky’s techniques were being lectured on. (Speaking of the Russian arts, the film even concludes with an excerpt from The Idiot, by Dostoyevsky). A lot of wide angle shots, and an efficient use of steadicam. It’s always good to see a modern horror film, that doesn’t rely on shaky camera movements. The films’ soundtrack, chimes in only when it needs to. This allows the audience be engulfed in the suspense. Unlike a lot of modern efforts, which rely on a musical score way to heavily.
The films’ final act does have its flaws, but I found them easy to overlook. No film is absolutely perfect, nor could it be. Despite a few lackluster moments, I feel this one was a really good effort. Something we don’t get to say that often, especially in this day and age.