Tag Archives: It Follows

It Follows

it folllowsFirst rule of horror movie club: Don’t see one in the theater by yourself. There was only one other person in the theater when my friends and I saw “It Follows” tonight, which means she was completely comfortable possibly watching it alone or … maybe she wasn’t there at all and we’re all cursed.

It was just a movie, it was just a movie, it was just a movie. I need to keep telling myself that.

I also tried telling myself, during the movie, that it wasn’t that scary. It didn’t work. The reviews about “It Follows” being the scariest movie this year are right and I should be watching cartoons or “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” right now to try to forget about it. I’ll try to write away the fear instead.

Here we go. The movie, filmed in Detroit, focuses on Jay (Maika Monroe) and a curse she receives when she sleeps with Hugh (AKA Jeff.)

Hugh knowingly passes on the curse to Jay so he can escape it, at least somewhat. Essentially, the curse is a demon that “follows” people in various human forms only they can see. The only way to get rid of the curse, and ultimately not be killed by it, is to sleep with someone else and pass it on.

At first Jay, her sister and their friends spend time both trying to find where the curse is coming from and to escape it.

For that reason the fear factor in “It Follows” has a slow burn, which ultimately made the film all the more scary. It also allows time for the viewer to realize that waiting to find out when the demon will appear next and what it could do is even more frightening than when something actually happens.

The pace of revealing what haunts Jay coupled with a consistently played score reminiscent of 1970s/1980s horror films and work by John Carpenter built a tension and fear that I couldn’t ignore or talk myself out of as the end of the story approached.

The use of the score as a critical component, even a character in some respects, in It Follows brought to mind similarities to how music is incorporated into the film “Drive.” They’re two very different films but the music in “Drive” is also a callback to the past (in this case the 1980s) and does have a largely instrumental composition that is consistently played throughout the film.

Overall, I appreciate how the writer/director of “It Follows,” David Robert Mitchell, developed an idea within the horror genre that feels new and fresh and is as thought-provoking as it is terrifying.

Even with the main cast being a group of teenagers, including a pretty girl, nerd, outcast, jock, etc., “It Follows
 does not fall into the stereotypes horror films can have and I hope Mitchell keeps up his momentum in the genre, as long as it’s with a new film.

There is, of course, the risk Mitchell, or someone else could continue what’s been started with It Follows and make a sequel. In fact, there was news about the possibility of a sequel to the film released today.

I can’t say Mitchell wouldn’t be successful at making It Follows 2 or that the ending, as with most horror movies, doesn’t provide the impetus for a sequel but I my vote is to just let it be.

That is all. (I’m still a little scared.)

Oh the horror …


I’ve been known to take horror movies a little too seriously and as a result have nightmares or lose sleep for a week. Thanks a lot, “Paranormal Activity.”

I don’t know what came over me but I decided to watch some horror movies by myself on Sunday after receiving this list of recommendations on the A.V. Club website. My choices of what to watch were limited to what is streaming on Netflix, but there are some good selections available until some of the other films on the list are in theaters or added to streaming services.

resolutionFor starters I watched “Resolution” which, and this is coming from someone who doesn’t handle fear all that well, was not that scary. It was more suspenseful in the sense that something horrible could have happened at any moment but any real fright was kept at bay, at least for me.

The story centers on Mike (Peter Ciella) who travels to a remote cabin near an Indian reservation to help his friend Chris (Vinny Curran) either go to rehab or kick his drug addiction in a week-long intervention where he is hand-cuffed to a pipe.

Chris doesn’t really have a choice when Mike cuffs him to the pipe anyway, but not being able to leave the cabin was really the least of his worries.

From the beginning it is clear that Chris and Mike are being watched and are not welcome at the cabin. But who, or what, was watching them, remained unknown, at least for me. Mike has a laptop with him and soon enough there are recordings of he and Chris on the screen as they try to watch something else. It’s also not long before drawings from an unknown source start to appear on the walls of the cabin and creepy people are seen staring at them through the windows.

The film is only an hour-and-a-half long and the climax probably isn’t until the last 15 to 20 minutes. While it isn’t as scary as I thought it would be (no complaints there), I enjoyed the mysteriousness of the film and I am curious to see the other work of Justin Benson and Aaron Scott Moorhead.

Lucky for me, they have a new movie coming out which looks to be a step up in the fear factor department but similar to “Resolution” in terms of the amount of focus on character development.

“Spring” is premiering this week and next as part of the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul’s “Dark Out” Series at the St. Anthony Main Theater. It is one of the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival feature films. (The link, after clicking on the name of the film on the film society website, wasn’t working when I posted this. You could also visit the St. Anthony Main Theater website for showtimes.)

As described by Benson and Moorhead, “Spring” could be a “monster movie. But beneath, we tried to build layers of humanity with truly dark, personal moments giving way to unexpected levity.”

It is about a young man from the U.S. who travels to Italy to escape  his past, only to meet a woman who he thinks is the love of his life. She has secrets that are definitely more than emotional baggage or a boyfriend she is not telling him about.

It looks fantastic, unique and beautifully filmed and, being that it will be in the theater for less than a week, I am definitely going to try to see it this weekend.

Watch the trailer here.

honeymoonBefore I move on to the other horror movies (what has come over me?) I am excited to see, I did also watch “Honeymoon” as part of my Sunday scares this week.

It has a little bit more of the stereotypical horror film characteristics when compared to “Resolution,” such as loud noises before something scary happens, flickering lights and good share of blood and gore.

The main characters in the film are newlyweds spending their honeymoon week at a cabin in the woods. It isn’t long before Bea starts to exhibit strange behaviors like sleepwalking and develop mysterious scars that begin to worry her husband, Paul.

It’s no secret after some time that something got to Bea and turned her against Paul. The ending is a little anti-climatic for all the build up to it and I had a hard time not comparing it to other “cabin in the woods” films, including the one with that name or “The Strangers.”

strangersThe loud knocks on the door in “The Strangers” are enough to make me cover my eyes even just thinking about them now. It’s hard to believe I’ve seen that movie twice. Here is a review I wrote of it back in the good ol’ days when I worked at a newspaper.

As I wrap this up, if you’re looking for classics in the horror genre, I recommend “The Dead Zone” with Christopher Walken or, of course, “The Shining.”

Among new releases, I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about It Follows, which is also on the A.V. Club list I mentioned earlier.

“The Boy” and “Unfriended,” which tackles the topic of the consequences of too much social media use and bullying by our young ones, recently had premieres at SXSW.

Maybe I have horror movies on the brain because the weather in Minnesota right now feels more like late October and Halloween time than March, when spring should be on the way any day now.

I hope these recommendations fit the type of scary movie you like, just remember to have a stock of cartoons or comedies on hand to watch as a palette cleanser.

Or just watch this mash-up of movie dance scenes on repeat.

Oh wait, I almost forgot, there is also a horror comedy movie coming out soon that looks like the best of both worlds.

Zombeavers (about zombie beavers in case you didn’t get that from the title) will be in select theaters later this month as well as on cable and Itunes.

Enjoy the show(s), if you dare.

That is all.