Do you smell it gravediggers and undertakers? Halloween is just around the corner and we here at Geekade are gearing up for our annual 31 Days of Halloween. Until then, we have to slough through September, which feels like nothing more than a transition month bridging summer and Halloween.
I wanted to review this movie some time ago, but I felt I needed to wait a little longer and put some distance between it. (That and Dan Ryan did a writeup on it for Geekade’s first 31 Days of Halloween. He had a… different opinion of this film). The Macabre Movie Mausoleum isn’t for fresher bodies, I mean movies, but I feel it’s time to review IT… Follows.
It Follows (2014)
Director: David Robert Mitchell
Starring: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, and Olivia Luccardi
I really want to give this movie points for originality, but it is so clearly, too obviously, an allegory for safe sex, it just hurts the overall feeling of the movie. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The movie opens with a girl in a nightgown and high heels running out of her house, and she runs in an awkward circle telling anyone who asks, including her father that she’s ok: she’s not. The girl runs back into her house, apparently has time to grab car keys but not any other clothing. She drives off into the night and we later see her sitting on a beach, talking to her dad on the phone, apologizing for being such a bitch. Then she’s dead, horribly disfigured.
Great start to the movie. I really wish, I had gone into this not knowing what it was about, but that knowledge doesn’t take away from the opening. The tension was revved up from the beginning, and gave the hope that it would last for the entire movie… it did not.
The movie proper starts, and we meet the main character Jamie “Jay” and her boyfriend (I think) Hugh, on a date. While in line for the movies they play this stupid game of one guessing who in the area the other would want to trade places with. Sound confusing? That’s because it’s stupid. Hugh says he’d want to be a little boy getting popcorn with his parents because he’s still so innocent. They talk about him being able to piss in a diaper whenever he wants, but the kid is like 6 years old, no way he should still be in a diaper. When it’s Hugh’s turn to guess they are now sitting in the theater, and he guesses Jay picks a girl walking towards them in a yellow dress. However, Jay can’t see her, despite Hugh assuring her that this girl is in clear view of them. When Jay confirms there’s no one there, Hugh gets scared and rushes Jay out of the theater saying he doesn’t feel well.
Sometime later, the two go on another date, and have sex in Hugh’s car. Before Jay can even catch her breath, he knocks her out with chloroform (where the hell does a teen/early 20 kid get this shit?) and she wakes up in her underwear tied to a wheelchair.
The next 10-15 minutes are Hugh explaining all the rules of the movie without any sustenance. He tells Jay that he’s passed a curse onto her when they had sex, and that “it” will walk to her wherever she goes, and will kill her once she catches her, then move back down the line of Sexually Transmitted Demon positive people. Her only hope would be to pass it on to someone else, and hope they pass it on and live longer enough that it doesn’t catch up to her. The demon can look like anyone it wants including even people she knows.
When they see it following Jay, Hugh drives her home, and basically pleads for her to live a long life before he drives off. We’re left wondering how and when this originated, how Hugh knows so much about it, and if it goes all the way back to the beginning and kills the first person, what happens then?
This is also a good time to mention that “It Follows” is one of those horror movies that doesn’t have parents at all involved in their kids’ lives.
After a 30 second police investigation, they learn that Hugh was using a fake name, but that’s it.
The next day in school, Jay sees an old man walking through the school in a hospital gown, and she runs to her older sister’s job. Their friends gather and decide to spend the night with Jay. So, again, without adult supervision, teen girls are having a sleepover with a boy. I’ll be damned if they were my kids.
There’s a crash at the kitchen window, but Paul (I think that’s his name) doesn’t see any thing when he goes to check. Jay sees a 20 something female, completely disheveled and pissing herself. So to prove “Scream” right, she runs up the stairs, instead of out the house, and locks herself in a room. In what would have been one of the few genuinely scary moments of the movie, if the trailer hadn’t given it away, as she cautiously lets her friends into the room, a tall skinny white guy with sunken-in eyes makes his way in.
Jay escapes through a window, and drives to a park to spend the night. Doesn’t seem like the best option, but she survives long enough for her friends to find her. They all drive to Greg’s family’s lake house. (Greg is a neighbor who doesn’t believe any of this). While hanging out on the beach, the curse catches up to Jay and attacks her by pulling her hair. Since the others can’t see it, all they notice is Jay’s hair standing up awkwardly. (another scene ruined by the trailer) Paul tries to help, but gets punched a dozen or so feet away. Jay makes her way into a boat house with a gun, and is able to shoot it. The STD drops to the ground, but quickly recovers and resumes its attack taking the form of different people.
Attempting to escape again, Jay steals Greg’s car and drives away, leaving her friends behind. Unfortunately, she crashes into a corn field and breaks her arm. She wakes up in a hospital surrounded by her friends and her mother (one of three scenes with a parent I believe).
Later that night, still in the hospital, Greg admits to Jay he still doesn’t believe any of this because he was pissing in the bushes when the attack at the beach happened. Somehow this leads to them having sex, and now Greg is cursed.
Safe for the remainder of the night and the following day, until Jay sees from her bedroom window, Greg walking towards his house. She tries calling out to him, but he doesn’t answer. That’s when she realizes it’s actually the STD about to attack Greg. Jay rushes over, and finds the STD now looks like Greg’s half naked mother, who presumably kills him in some incestuous way.
Now realizing she’s the target again, Jay drives away, and ends up at a different beach. Seeing three guys fishing on a boat, she begins undressing as she approaches the water. The scene cuts and we see Jay driving away in wet clothes, without knowing exactly what happened. Back at her house, Jay refuses sex to Paul who clearly has a crush on her. He argues that if he could see it, he could better help her, but she doesn’t want to endanger him, basically putting him in the STD/curse friend zone, which I think may be the most brutal of friend zones ever. Poor guy.
In any case he devises a plan to hopefully kill the STD. Jay is to wade in the center of a pool, luring it to her, and as soon as it’s in the water she gets out, and her friends will drop appliances in to electrocute it. Apparently, that would have worked, because STD refuses to enter the water, and instead throws the appliances at Jay trying to knock her out. Paul shoots at the invisible target, clipping a friend in the leg, then getting the STD which falls into the pool. Jay tries to escape but gets caught by the STD and Paul has to shoot it again. Only Jay can see, but the pool is now filling up with blood, and they believe they’ve defeated the STD.
Afterwards, Jay and Paul begin dating and have sex. Still unsure if the STD is truly dead, Paul is seen approaching hookers, which clearly should have been Hugh’s first plan (also, we learned he was a high school kid from a few towns over and he got infected from a one-night stand and likes jerking off into porno mags). The movie ends with Jay and Paul walking on a sidewalk, and someone is walking not far behind. Dun Dun DUN!!!
On to the rating…
This movie is a perfect example of wasted potential, and stupid plot points. I really wanted to like this movie more, because it had some interesting elements, but it failed executing them.
Early in the movie, Hugh says that the STD is a slow walker, but smart. However, if it were smart, the STD (that can look like anyone) would always choose people the infected knows, or at least someone that blends into the surroundings. Why, when Jay is first back at school, does it look like an old man in a hospital gown? Wouldn’t it make sense to look like a teenage student? Granted the movie would have ended fairly quickly, but it would have made sense.
Also, since there is practically no parental supervision, why not just fly somewhere? The STD can only walk, if you end up on the other side of the world, you’ll be safe for years at a minimum.
Another thing that was never explained is what if the infected sleeps with multiple people? Are they all now cursed? Only the first? What if she’s double penetrated at the same moment? These are the questions I need answered!
The acting was on par with what you’d expect from this type of movie, nothing too horrible, but far from good. The biggest issues are the script holes, and there’s not acting around those.
For more from the author head over to azarrising.com