Beauty and the Best

It Follows

"It Follows" - A Unique But Not Especially Frightening Horror Movie

It Follows Poster
Just what the world needs: another review of “It Follows.” But I’m writing this review because, with the deluge of praise heaped on this film, I think we could use a little clear headedness.

It Follows
is a unique “horror” film. The cinematography is excellent, the direction thoughtful and the acting solid. This is what I’d call an art house horror movie. I saw it at the Arclight Cinemas and there was a Q&A with director David Robert Mitchell moderated by Edgar Wright after the screening. Mitchell is a soft-spoken, articulate, sensitive person and that comes through in his filmmaking.

Having said all this, how do we reconcile fulsome praise such as Follows being called “
the best horror film in a decade” with the fact that it’s not actually that scary. Suspenseful in parts, yes; slightly unnerving in parts, yes. Actually scary -- like make you want to keep the lights on at night -- no. To be fair, I am a grizzled old horror veteran. I fall asleep to horror movies like bedtime stories and wake up with the DVD splash screen and scary theme music playing with nary a problem.

So what do I consider scary? Not much anymore. Over time, certain movies have stuck with me – the original Japanese “Ringu,” “The Exorcist,” the first “Alien,” “Audition” was troubling, “A Tale of Two Sisters,” “Halloween” (original). Of recent times “The Conjuring” impressed me. Then there are movies that just had scary scenes, like when the old witch’s shadow appears outside the tent of heroine in “
Suspiria” or when the little girl in “Don’t Look Now” turns out to be a knife wielding midget.

These are movies that made me think about them later, and especially at night. But I walked out of “It Follows” feeling the buzz of having partaken in something cool, but not something scary. I said the same about the “Evil Dead” remake on this blog. I’m interested to hear others thoughts. What do you consider scary?

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