For the first hour, it amazes. After that, it crumbles.
Movie Review #979
“It Follows” is an atmospheric, surreal horror movie. It follows the classic layout for a slasher movie (no pun intended), and yet there is hardly any onscreen violence here. It pays homage to John Carpenter almost pervasively, delivering its plot with as much voyeurism as its looming cinematography, leaving us constantly afraid for the protagonist. She’s being followed around everywhere by a certain “thing” that can take the form of anything and can only be seen by her. Her boyfriend passed it to her by having (consensual) sex with her, and the only way for her to get rid of it is to have sex with somebody else.
There’s more Carpenter here. Black-and-white TV pops up here frequently, as do small, 1950’s TVs. I am reminded of Laurie Strode babysitting in “Halloween” while she and the kids watch “The Thing from Another World” on the living room TV. Not only that, the music is filled with tympani and synthesizers, à la Ennio Morricone’s score for Carpenter’s “The Thing”. The leitmotif that pervades the score in “It Follows” sounds unmistakably similar to Carpenter’s “Halloween” score, as well.
And yet “It Follows” feels brilliant in its own right, at least initially. The film begins to quickly lose touch of its setup after the first hour, and it loses our interest, as well. We’re left with a movie that falls under its own trap—where the movie eventually stops cleverly paying homage to B-movies, and instead becomes one itself. We end on a ridiculous ending that had my eyes rolling back into their skull. I like surprising endings, but when they involve invisible spirits throwing electrical irons into an indoor swimming pool, please count me out.