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‘It Follows’ doesn’t follow through

| Wednesday, April 8, 2015

ItFollows_WEBEMILY DANAHER | The Observer

“It Follows” was hyped so hard. Like as hard as the TIDAL release or Notre Dame Day.

Reputable news sources, Rotten Tomatoes enthusiasts and YouTube commenters all played the Rosie to Sophia Grace-esque hype girl role, so I questioned my initial apprehensions of the seemingly campy trailer for David Robert Mitchell’s film.

However, after seeing this film in theaters, my interpretation of the movie reflects my initial thoughts: an interesting idea with poor execution that resulted in an almost laughable experience for the most part.

As maybe the worst horror movie watcher ever, it doesn’t take much to get me to have nightmares or avoid mirrors for a few weeks. Regarded by Rolling Stone as “A must see … nothing short of amazing,” this movie made me jump once — and that was when a tall man that reminded me of the creepy giant from “Twin Peaks” appeared on screen. I am pretty sure I jumped more than once in “The Hunger Games.”

I am not alone in my thoughts either — the man in front of me could hardly give the film the time of day, scrolling through Facebook, leaving three times, answering a phone call and spitting out a string of curse words as the credits appeared.

The movie, being called the best horror film in a decade, has an interesting concept: a monster curse is passed on through sexual intercourse to Jay (Maika Monroe), the young, blond protagonist. The curse entails being followed by someone — maybe a familiar face, maybe a naked middle aged man standing on your roof, maybe an old lady in a hospital gown — who walks towards you slowly but indefinitely. The monster can’t be killed, and the only way to rid yourself of the curse is to pass it along through intercourse.

The idea of a sexually transmitted monster affecting the young, experimental and curious acts as a sort of STD prevention ad throughout and beyond the movie. The curse takes on a sort of seventh grade chain-text message feel: “pass this on to some1 b4 midnight or be haunted 4ever.”

The idea creates a unique premise for a horror film as the scenes are, for the most part, based on psychiatry over gore. Jay’s friends cannot see the monster, as some scenes were filmed from their view — totally absent of whatever naked perpetrator was on the prowl. In these respects, “It Follows” channels a thriller more than it does an in-your-face horror film.

The suspense is integral in the cinematography, as the audience’s eyes scan the entire screen the whole movie. The wide screen film shots, specifically the scan of the parking garage where we are first introduced to It, accommodate the viewers’ desperate attempts to locate the looming monster.

The electronic score, composed by Rich Vreeland, or Disasterpeace, heightens the suspense. The music channels “Twin Peaks” or ”The Shining” in its creepy, otherworldly sound and rushed repetition.

The music bridged the film’s modernity with its horror film predecessors; however, this was the only aspect of the film that did so. Seemingly set in present day by the outfit, car and hairstyle choices, Jay’s house featured rabbit-ear TVs, a type writer (that plugged into an outlet) and black and white films. These antiques stood in juxtaposition to Jay’s friend’s clamshell-shaped reading gadget, akin to a Kindle inside of a make-up compact.

Although the movie lacked the “it” factor, I have to give it some credit for subconsciously putting me on high alert when I see students cross the quads slowly or through the grass as if they’re on their way to follow me.

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About Erin McAuliffe

I'm Scene's editor and a senior Marketing & Journalism student. To quote the exquisite Sadie Dupuis, "I'm not bossy — I'm the boss."

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