July 13, 2016

What Are You Afraid Of? A Review of "It Follows" (2014)

It Follows 
(David Robert Mitchell, 2014)

There are several movies in recent years that are masterfully crafted and extremely disturbing at the same time. They do not fit standard genre formulas so it is hard to lock them into the mold of drama, art, action or horror. Films that come to mind include Donny Darko, Dogtooth, Upstream Color, Under the Skin and It Follows.

These are movies that you have to pay attention to. The characters often suck you in. You begin to care for them. You persevere with them. Your fear for them. In all of these films the audience witnesses acts that would normally be disturbing. But...somehow in the context of these films we grin and bare these sites.

It Follows plays off of fear. What we are afraid of may, indeed, be following us. It plays of of a literal manifestation of fear. And ultimately that fear leaps from us and into the minds and lives of others. Fear not only follows us, but can be passed along to others. Not unlike an STD.

I liked this movie exactly because it was not formulaic. The characters seemed real. Like teenagers in my neighborhood. It's not a freak out film. It's not a monster under the bed film. It's about slow, creeping fear that begins to take hold of all who buy into it.

(8/10: MH)

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