|Art by Tob Waylan|
1. The art work following this film took on a life of its own and I now want my bedroom walls plastered in fan art.
2. Maika Monroe has been working her way up to high-demand actress with her boss performance in The Guest and her authentic vulnerability in It Follows. While all of these young actors shined, Monroe is our real hero. This final girl is also a fan of horror movies that genuinely loves being a part of artwork that's inclined to scare the shit out of you. There's more to acting than screaming and running and Monroe easily reminds us with her undeniable talent onscreen.
3. An obvious favorite on everyone's list, the unsettling and predatory synth score.
4. Canvasing the Detroit sleepover and the decrepit 8 Mile ruins. David Robert Mitchell's previous work, The Myth of the American Sleepover, follows a group of young adults who spend an awful lot of time lounging in their backyards, pools, bedrooms, and each others' suburban dens. This was also the case in It Follows. Had this film been released in my youth, it would be our chosen late-night sleepover flick pick. THE FEELS! Both coming of age artworks tugged my heart strings. The director has expressed that these dreamy sequences are lifted from his own childhood experiences. Even the walking monster was a childhood nightmare for him.
5.The metaphorical premise. Argue all you want, the ideas of a sex curse is unique. Every horror film clings onto the clutches of symbolic sexism but it has never been presented onscreen in this fashion. The ending is open for interpretation which most jaded-viewers who do not know any better call laziness. I consider it laziness on the viewers' part. You should find yourself digging deep into the subtext because the film stays with you long after viewing. The fear of the unknown is left to be explored.
6. The ambiguous era. The television shows they're watching are black and white science fiction movies. The soundtrack and overall look offers a 70s vibe yet there are objects of technology that do not exist so we have no idea when this is taking place. This compact that was a basic 60s shell compact that they morphed into an e-reader was a nifty addition.
7. The walk sets the creep tone, making it one of the few recent horror films that's frighteningly intense. This was a complaint among some viewers and I have no idea why. Especially, coming from Jason Voorhees fans. It Follows is a film that avoids the cliches of bathroom mirrors, cats, and camping in the woods. Even the dullest moments are caked in dread. The pace met my standards and kept me entertained from start to finish.
8. The dialogue; “Its funny. I used to daydream about being old enough to go on dates, drive around with friends in their cars. I had this image of myself holding hands with a really cute guy. Listening to the radio, driving along some pretty road, up north maybe, when the trees start to change colors. It was never about going anywhere, really. Just having some sort of freedom I guess. Now that we’re old enough, where the hell do we go?”
9. The circular camera movements and POV shots. The jarring enigmatic angles of corpses. The masterful frames that compare to John Carpenter's classic Halloween. There are several notable shots in the film worth mentioning and I just 'might' tackle them in all its glory on another day.
10. The death scenes. Why the hell are you guys arguing that these death scenes are impossible? It's a fucking movie! The entire premise is impossible. There's no strong presence of gore but it's not needed.
With the capture above, it's worth noting that the opening of the film features a scantly clad woman running in high heels. This was a pet peeve amongst those who attended my Feminist Side of Horror panel at the MENSA convention in Austin. One of my listeners even pointed out a scene in Romancing the Stone where Michael Douglas cuts Kathleen Turner's heels off so she could run faster. Horror films often sexualize even the strongest characters and it becomes a blaring annoyance. Why they decided to feature a woman in heels and underwear running from a monster is anyone's guess.