Author Topic: It Follows  (Read 7936 times)

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wilder

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It Follows
« on: February 16, 2015, 03:02:39 PM »
+2


For nineteen-year-old Jay, Autumn should be about school, boys and week-ends out at the lake. But after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter, she finds herself plagued by strange visions and the inescapable sense that someone, something, is following her. Faced with this burden, Jay and her friends must find a way to escape the horrors that seem to be only a few steps behind.

Written and Directed by David Robert Mitchell
Release Date - March 13, 2015



polkablues

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Re: It Follows
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2015, 04:46:59 PM »
+1
I'm so excited about this movie. Horror with a great central metaphor is my favorite thing in the world.
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wilder

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Re: It Follows
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2015, 03:13:10 PM »
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This was bad.

polkablues

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Re: It Follows
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2015, 05:24:56 PM »
+1
God damn it.
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Tictacbk

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Re: It Follows
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2015, 12:27:51 PM »
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Counterpoint: This was really good.

polkablues

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Re: It Follows
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2015, 12:29:25 PM »
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I still haven't gotten the opportunity to watch it, but from everything I've been hearing, Wilder's take is an extreme outlier. My hopes are buoyed.
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wilder

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Re: It Follows
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2015, 01:18:50 PM »
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The premise is intriguing, it's well-shot, and the score would be great as a standalone, but the movie plays into a trend, or what I wish could call a trend, that I'm seeing with disturbing frequency - movies settling for the general "vibe" of whatever genre they're going for, essentially riding on style over substance, but in a different way than one might attribute to a director like Guy Ritchie. You see it in indie dramas, with filmmakers taking an overly serious tone even if the scenes they're shooting don't warrant it, or posturing with techniques taken from Austrian directors used to empty effect that give the impression more is going on than there really is if only given a surface reading. It's an effort to give the impression that a film is striking a well-explored vein by merely offering up the image or echo of past films that succeeded, but the underlying content that made those earlier films work isn't there. It's tone first, story after, which I can deal with sometimes, but even the sincerity of tone here felt weak. The throwbacks they cherrypicked didn't work in collusion, other than to remind you that those old movies It Follows sourced from were great.

Here's a quote from an LA times article from 2012:

Quote
[Millennials] don't seem to think of movies as art the way so many boomers did. They think of them as fashion, and like fashion, movies have to be new and cool to warrant attention. Living in a world of the here-and-now, obsessed with whatever is current, kids seem no more interested in seeing their parents' movies than they are in wearing their parents' clothes. Indeed, novelty may be the new narcissism. It obliterates the past in the fascination with the present.

This statement might be referring to fixation on the now, but there's another way movies are becoming "fashion" as of late, in that many inspire a glance but fall apart upon deeper inspection, or are literally built to be ambience, viewed with one eye half paying attention while the the other takes breaks every few minutes to look at a phone. These kinds of movies are serving as background wallpaper, giving the appearance of horror without actual horror, the appearance of drama without dramatic situations, a thriller without the thrills, etc.

It Follows tries using a lot of 1980s horror homages, and is production designed in such a way that if it weren't for the presence of some modern technology you might think it was trying to take place in the 1980s, but for arbitrary effect. "It just looks cool and we liked those old movies so we'll do it." It's like a motion picture tumblr.

This probably comes off as an over-intellectualization but I didn't go into the movie thinking this way. The truth is just that I was devastatingly bored, bored as nails after the half hour mark. It Follows is 100 minutes but felt twice that long. The script is terrible. Only after I'd totally disengaged did these thoughts start to wander. Why isn't this scary? Why aren't I having fun? Why the fuck do I want to go to sleep right now?

modage

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Re: It Follows
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2015, 03:21:36 PM »
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Counterpoint: This was really good.
Seconded. Keep those expectations Earth-bound, it's low-key but very effective. On first view I'd prob put it up with "Kill List" and "The Loved Ones" as one of my favorite, original horror films of the past few years. Curious how it holds on repeat viewings.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

piscesvirgorising

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Re: It Follows
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2015, 04:45:55 PM »
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Wilder, you are right on - what a poorly-crafted bore fest.  It's a  damn shame, the premise had such promise. Seriously befuddled by all the praise... I guess horror has found its Garden State.

jenkins

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Re: It Follows
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2015, 05:34:10 PM »
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it's form over content, and it's got that thing i bet pissed off wilder too, pissed me off, where it goes into the territory of "is there going to be content, seems like there's about to be content" but then there isn't content, i mean it's a horror movie so the story is part of the form, and for me the form was as impressive as buzzard, which didn't impress me, but it's all personal taste really i mean come on

verifiable via my afi fest post
http://xixax.com/index.php?topic=12744.msg337078#msg337078

i think, for example, the conjuring had better form. for example. and i think the conjuring's content was questionable. to frame this. the garden state comparison strikes me as humorous, good to see you, person vaguely named for astrology or something i gotta google that
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Tictacbk

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Re: It Follows
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2015, 07:06:24 PM »
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Isn't just about every horror movie form over content?  That's the best thing about horror movies... they make you think something's going to happen and then build on that dread.  Most of the time it doesn't matter if it happens or not, all that matters is you're on the edge of your seat.  In my theater, that seemed to be the case for every person there, for all 100 minutes of the movie.  It was sustained tension, and it was great.  Not to mention it was shot/designed well, the score was amazing, and Maika Monroe did a good job.  There's a few missteps here and there, but overall it was super fun.

piscesvirgorising

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Re: It Follows
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2015, 01:49:46 PM »
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Form and content arguments aside, it wasn't well crafted. The plot is an inorganic and arbitrary series of references, and the characters did not behave believably or logically, even by horror movie standards. This undermines the effectiveness of any movie, in any genre, regardless of how stylish the surface may be. Retro atmosphere and a cool soundtrack should not absolve a poorly crafted movie. Ok climbing down off my soap box now.

jenkins

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Re: It Follows
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2015, 07:23:54 PM »
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yeah but you called it a soap box yourself, you seem open and conversational, so really i think you passed the intro portion of having friendships on the internet, and because we never all like the same movie anyway, eventually you might find yourself sharing an opinion with someone who did like this movie, and you know life and all that and i think it's worth it and omfg ok the movie talk

pvr is toasting the movie for being kinda shit, and i agree about why, wilder called it kinda shit, and i agree about why, i called it kinda shit, and that's the stuff that happens when you make a movie, i don't agree with anyone and i think it's always good to see a movie
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modage

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Re: It Follows
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2015, 09:11:52 AM »
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Form and content arguments aside, it wasn't well crafted.

In what way? I don't make movies but I watch a lot of them and this looked & felt pretty good to me.

The plot is an inorganic and arbitrary series of references,

I have definitely seen this trend in recent years but it doesn't always ruin the films for me. "Hobo With A Shotgun" was terrible but "The Guest" was pretty great and they're both equally as indebted to their references. I really didn't feel that way with "It Follows" though. Sure you can pick up on some strands here and there ("Invasion of the Body Snatchers," "The Thing," "Night of the Living Dead," every 70s/80s slasher film where the teens die after having sex) but the film never seemed to stop and wink to say "get it?" Two things a horror film needs to do to really standout for me are: have an original scary idea and achieve a mood of suspense and dread. This checked both boxes for me.

and the characters did not behave believably or logically, even by horror movie standards.

This never stood out to me either. Examples?
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

piscesvirgorising

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Re: It Follows
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2015, 04:03:40 PM »
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Hey modage. I agree, being referential can be good fun - I loved the Guest and (another example) House of the Devil... the crucial distinction for me is this: does the story hold up without the references? There were many moments in It Follows where I felt the filmmaker's desire to make a reference steered the story in illogical and arbitrary directions. For example, the Cat People-quoting swimming pool set piece... forgive me if I missed something, but what the hell was supposed to be the plan exactly, and why were they shooting a gun at the "Follower" when they already knew from a previous scene it didn't kill it/them??

As for the characters: in addition to such illogical behavior, they all shared the same nonchalant, inscrutable attitude toward this terrifying situation, and were otherwise indistinguishable by anything but wardrobe. One character, for instance, is a girl who wears funky glasses and reads Dostoyevsky at us from a  "shell" phone... But take away those quirky props, and I could not tell you one thing about her. What are her actual character traits? How is she different from the others? Who knows.

I could go on (and on), but honestly I love movies and moaning about one that so many people clearly enjoy... Well, I'm starting to feel like a major grump. I've enjoyed the xixax for years and hope to keep future posts more positive. Thanks for the follow up q's, glad to be here!

 

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