It Follows is the perfect example of how a film can be extremely well made, without being interesting or enjoyable, at all.
The movie is well shot, with an incredible soundtrack and it relies on tension that builds slowly, as well as its superior technical aspects.
These do not make up for the dull characters, however, or the plot that begins with great promise, but leaves viewers without any payoff or resolution. If you’re in desperate need to see a scary movie, then It Follows might satisfy, but for most people, it will leave you feeling frustrated over its lack of a clear conclusion, or many real scares.
It Follows tells the story of a young girl who is pursued by a supernatural entity anywhere she goes, after having sex with her most recent partner, who was attempting to pawn the creature off on her. While this analogy to sexually transmitted diseases might have been interesting, albeit a little too on the nose, people have no incentive to actively attempt to pass on their STDs.
However, that lapse of reasoning would be excusable if I didn’t feel like the narrative was relying almost entirely on its metaphor. None of the other aspects of writing were clear or interesting. The characters were dull stereotypes, such as the pretty girl who never pays attention to the boy who clearly loves her, or the boy who is always hopelessly admiring the girl. Something I did appreciate about the characters in this film, however, was the fact that it took the time to explain why the protagonist’s parents were never around. Characters’ parents are almost entirely ignored in horror films, and I’m glad to see that wasn’t the case here.
Although, that’s still not enough to make up for how frustrated I was by the end of the film, realizing they were never going to reveal the origin of the entity, or why they exhibited certain characteristics. There were a lot of very creepy, disturbing features to these beings, and it’s sad that we never received more of a backstory to them.
In regards to the more technical aspects, it was nice to see a horror film that looked gorgeous.
The coloring was incredible from beginning to end, placing large emphasis on yellows, blues and reds as well as framing each shot to grab your attention and hold it there. The music sounded like someone took the soundtrack from Halloween, but attempted to make it sound more interesting and varied. Every scene that featured those ominous tones or notes brought my ears the greatest of joy and it was a delight to listen to each piece of music. I just wish the action on screen could have captivated me the same way.
It Follows is a nicely done film, that just doesn’t manage to intrigue story-wise, the way its visuals would lead you to believe. It’s a technical achievement, but one that will probably leave most viewers dissatisfied and irritated.