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[Review] ‘It Follows’ Is a Classical Horror Masterpiece

It Follows

It Follows is this year’s The Babadook, and that’s both a blessing and a curse.

The blessing is that It Follows is a tremendous horror acheivement, while the curse is, well, now it’s overhyped. The biggest difference between Babadook and It Follows, though, is that the latter is a modern genre masterpiece.

Following up Mike Pereira’s rave review isn’t going to be an easy task, so we’ll keep this simple…

How’s this for a quick sell: It Follows is as if David Robert Mitchell directed the Halloween remake (only Michael Myers is a succubus), and then added elements from films like The Ring and A Nightmare On Elm Street.

Jay (played by Maika Monroe, who is absolutely fantastic) has a pretty weird date, one that ends in some hot car sex. Instead of cuddling, her new hubby knocks her out, and takes her to an abandoned structure. There, she awakens tied to a wheelchair (see the above image). Her capturer is forcing Jay (along with the audience) to be introduced to “It”, while also sharing the “rules”. This kid was infected with a curse (like The Ring), and now he has passed it into? onto Jay. “It” is coming. “It” won’t stop following Jay until she’s dead, or until she passes the curse onto someone else. From here, things play out a bit like Halloween, as “It” stalks her, but also more like Elm Street where the “crazy” protagonist must convince his/her friends that they aren’t headed to the looney bin.

Simply put, It Follows becomes a shared nightmare.

While most filmmakers would try and give homage to their favorite horror films (yawn), Mitchell evokes the emotion, aesthetic and vibe of the classics, while injecting his own personailty into it. In essense, he’s furthering the genre.

There’s a bit of gore, here and there, but mostly it will make the viewer’s skin crawl. And even though the film is riddled with serious inconsistencies and plot holes (it’s best to just experience it and not think too much about it), It Follows is easily one of the most suspensful and scary movies in recent memory.

It Follows is classical horror, and deserves to be sculpted into the Mount Rushmore of horror alongside other greats.



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COMMENTS

76 Comments
  • bababoooooooey

    “tramendous,” crossing out words, saying a lot without saying anything … LEARN TO WRITE!

  • Victor

    I’m looking forward to checking this out, it looks creepy and by this quick review yea besides the trailer this sold me!

  • elpinche

    Well shit, I guess I have to watch this.

  • Rob

    “Well now it’s overhyped” whose fault is that? *Looks at you*

  • Okay, I never try to be a dick when I’m on this site or any other but seriously, “While most filmmakers would try and give homage to their favorite horror films (yawn), Mitchell evokes the emotion, aesthetic and vibe of the classics, while injecting his own personality into it. In essence, he’s furthering the genre,” seems a bit hypocritical on your part 9in particular, the “yawn” part). Whenever something is said about The Ring on this site you have no problem reminding us all that the VHS franchise was partially inspired by it. Again, not trying to be an asshole, just making a point. Paying homage or drawing inspiration from other films can and has led to great movies. The only problem is when one goes too far and makes something that feels like a blatant rip-off rather than respectful tribute to a film or films that inspired them.

    • BloodyMcFlipp

      You’ve accomplished dick-status. Not in a bad way, ‘tho.

      • Haha, there’s a good way to be a dick? Lol.

  • Krug09

    Why is there an article about how big of a masterpiece this movie is every week?

    • Rob

      They have to fill the gap between V/H/S releases

      • Krug09

        Oh.

  • The only silver lining is that IT FOLLOWS comes out in March, so we only have to listen to people overhyping it for a couple of months, whereas THE BABADOOK had people collectively shitting their pants for nearly a year.

  • astronauta69

    i’m so excited to see this

  • sliceanddice

    BOOM! welcome to 2015. long live the new flesh.

  • satangotmylungs

    babbadook was over hyped trash, it follows was actually a cool film 6.5/10 … not a classic but a fun watch

    • LoveAnimation

      People will call this film over hyped trash too a while after its released.
      Stuff thats gets really popular and gets pleny of attention always get hated and called overrated eventualy.

      • Jane

        Not true. But they became more vocal after seeing all the ridiculous acclaim it was getting. That tends to happen.

    • Man, you must have terrible taste in the horror genre based off that sentence above lol.

    • Adam Luckey

      I saw the “The Babadook” before it had picked up much hype, and I thought it was bad, like really really bad, almost one of those so bad it was kind of funny type films. Once all the hype came in I was very confused, is this hipster horror or something? “It Follows” looks cool, but the fact that it is being compared to “The Babadook” worries me a bit.

      • part6productions

        I don’t know how anyone could hate The Babadook, but to each is own. What didn’t you guys like about it?

        • James

          I though the kid was irritating to no end, the mom was weak and the movie was better when it was called Intruders and starred Clive Owen.

          • devilgod

            And you think that the kid wasn’t suppose to be annoying as hell?

        • Jane

          LOL It was boring, not scary & none of the characters were likable…oh and nothing happened in it LOL

          • part6productions

            LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

      • ChinoX813

        Is “Hipster” just a code word for anything Independent that gets acclaim or something. I’ve heard it used to describe so many vastly different films this past year. Under the Skin, The Sacrament, Starry Eyes, Only Lovers Left Alive, etc etc etc………. I’ve seen all the films and have yet to find one common thread among them that would warrant them being given the same label other than the fact that they were made Indy and did well with critics.

        If I’m wrong please enlighten me. It’s a serious question.

        • ImTheMomInTheSilverMazda

          Hipster is becoming a word used by idiots to describe anything building a present day cult following. That’s what a cult following is. A bunch of hipsters that like things before you do, and write about it. All these things and more brought to you by hipsters.

          It’s such a dumb word. Go to a show. Whoa, the sound guy looks a bit like a hipster. Better precognitively hate him. Hey, the band looks like a bunch of hipsters. So does the bartender. WHAT ARE ALL THESE DOERS DOING DISGUISED AS HIPSTERS?! Whatever happened to ‘Style’?.

    • BloodyMcFlipp

      And that sentence, sir, makes a better review than the above.

  • Guest

    I saw the Babadook before hearing any hype about it and thought it was laughably bad. Once it started picking up some hype was very confused. Is this like hipster horror or something?

  • Cody

    This review has made me extremely excited for this. I thought Maika did an excellent job in The Guest, so I’m looking forward to seeing her in this.

  • Kered173

    This review includes some Harry Knowles levels of overdone hyperbole.

  • Fred

    I’ve watched the trailer about 30 times already

  • psychomantis18

    Babadook was waaaaaaayyy better than this

    • EmilyQualls

      Freelance from your living room from two-six hours each day, and start getting paid about $1000-$3000 on weekly basis
      -> START HERE <-

    • James

      I hope that’s not true because the babadook was pretty terrible.

      • Krug09

        That movie was such a low budget boring piece of shit.

        • Mike Hawk

          Same as it follows.

          • Krug09

            The Babadook was a lot worse though.

          • Krug09

            It Follows dragged on and was boring but it still had a few good parts (and a few laughable parts), It would have been a better film had they cut the movie by 15 minutes, completely rewrote “It’s” death scene because i laughed through the whole thing and cut out all the pretentious long shots.

      • psychomantis18

        Well I loved it.

  • Luke

    So has it become cool now to trash Babadook in some hipster fashion just because now it’s become somewhat commercially recognised? Yes, The Babadook isn’t the scariest, not the best horror film, but you’ve got to admit it’s one of the most effective horror movies that manages to tell a raw human story and get some classic scares in along the way. Does it live up to the hype? No. Was it trash? No.

    It Follow’s sounds like it’s got the makings to be a little funner and dare I say, lighter, than Babadook does so I’m looking forward to it.

    • J Jett

      Luke so you want those of us who genuinely didn’t like/love the film to just gush over it and praise it to the high heavens simply to make YOU feel better? LOL. i don’t think most (if not all) here who happen to not like the movie or feel the OVER-hype did a disservice to the film feel that way because of whether or not the film is commercially recognized.

      • Luke

        Not at all what I said. You’re free to like/dislike the film as you please, I’m just saying don’t hold a film to its hype and then let that disappointment be your justification as to why you didn’t like it. I’m saying don’t solely dislike a film because a critic exercised their hyperbolic license perhaps a bit too much in praising the film.

        • Jane

          I think you’ll find people don’t like it because it’s not very good. ROFL I didn’t see any hype before I watched it, I’m an Aussie excited to see an Aussie horror flick but was wildly disappointed. And since then I’ve been baffled by the rave reviews it gets. Seriously, it’s not scary, it’s irritating & boring. The best bit is the actual drawing of the Babadook. It’s really a long-winded drama/discourse on mental illness about an insecure, clingy mother being driven insane by an obnoxious child. As a horror/thriller movie fan I was barely able to make it to the end. I’m relieved to finally see others admitting they didn’t like it either – I felt like an outcast . So over bandwagonning in the film and music industry. I hope this “It Follows” movie is actually good coz I’m desperate to find new good horror flicks.

          • Mike Hawk

            You will be disappointed.

    • Chris Yurkin

      Obviously people are oblivious to what true horror is… The movie made my skin crawl.. The point of that movie was to built suspense and tell a story. Unlike every other movie(slasher, found footage, or same cliche-based films, this one was powerful. The acting, the plot, everything…

  • The Babadook was original, and that’s what counts. I want more original horror flicks, (less remakes), with lesser known actors/actresses. That’s pretty much what we’re getting here. So I’m all for it. No complaints here.

  • pacman68

    It’s a masterpiece and can’t wait to watch it again. The third act is a bit of a let down but still fantastic.

  • herrah

    I can’t wait to see this again!!

  • jurgmandr

    Spell check is your friend brah. It’s tremendous not tramendous.

  • Derek Behrends

    So does anyone have any idea where I can watch this? Will it have a wide release or only be in select theaters? Will it be available on demand? Will it be available on netflix?

    • VOD and Limited on March 13th, 2015

      • Derek Behrends

        Thank you so much! Can’t wait!

  • John Strika

    Babadook was a boring piece of crap

    • Mike Hawk

      So is “It follows”

      • Chris Yurkin

        hardly crap….

    • Chris Yurkin

      Sorry it wasn’t gory enough for you. The Babadook wasn’t intended to be a gore-hounds wet dream. The cast, the plot and the acting was phenomenal. Which is why it got such high ranks. Guess someone needs some education on what real horror films should be…

  • Cameron Bell

    why are they release all of these great horror films on VOD with a limited release, and they put the shitty ones (Ouija & The Woman In Black 2) out for a wide release…… As a horror movie fan who enjoys seeing every horror movie that comes out in theaters, this is making me sad…

    • I emailed my movie theater chain (Cinemark) and asked for the movie and they responded with some automated BS, (“Our schedules aren’t finalized till the Wednesday before a release, please check back later”). ….Gee Thanks for that insightful answer…..

  • Kev S

    I was desperate to see this after reading all the hype. In the end it was really dissapointing just like the massively overrated ‘The Babadook’.
    The idea is great and there are some cool scenes but it’s never scary and the ending is terrible. There are way worse films out there and it’s worth a look on Dvd but don’t waste your money at the cinema and don’t get your hopes up like I did.

  • N1ghtmar3Freak

    I finally got around to seeing this little gem on the big screen yesterday. I came out of the theater satisfied and with new hope for originality and simplicity to the horror genre. I enjoyed every aspect of this film; from the simple premise, the beautifully shot cinematography, the young cast of unknown actors/actresses, the original score, and the throwback of elements from the 70’s/80’s that gave the setting a retro vibe and feel. I thought it was well done, and I am so thankful for going into the theater without having seen any trailers or reading any reviews before hand. I simply went in without knowing much about the film, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

  • 1EyeJack

    It Follows was pretty good, but not nearly the “classical horror masterpiece” I was hoping for so yeah, def over-hyped. Interesting and somewhat suspensful, but I thought Starry Eyes was a whole lot creepier.

    • Sharan

      Starry Eyes is totally fucked up and awesome.

  • Rick-Taylor

    8/10.

  • michaeldal65

    A distinctive nod to the 70s and 80s and built out of carefully crafted atmosphere, expertly scored, and featuring a really likeable cast (a rare thing in horror these days), I give it 10 out of 10, it sure won’t appeal to gore-hounds but if you loved the lack of blood and guts and maximum suspense in Carpenter’s The Fog and Halloween (and It Follows often feels like its nodding to the director’s glory years), this is for you. I can’t wait to see it again.

    This guy’s bought respect and intelligence (underlined) back to the genre. I wonder how much of today’s horror audience will really appreciate it.

  • Mike Hawk

    I’m sorry this movie is hardly a classical horror masterpiece. First off, horror movies aren’t supposed to be boring. Second just because you use a midi keyboard for background music, does not mean it’s a horror masterpiece. This excuse of a film sucked the big one. The reviewers here would review dogshlt and was it awesome. Man, the horror swag must be great.

    • Kinny Cakes

      Agreed this movie fucking blew. Was boring as hell. Forgettable characters. I honestly don’t know what kind of crack reviewers where smoking when they watched this horrendous pile of shit. The soundtrack was the only thing good about this film.

    • Mariana Sertic

      I agree. This was so boring, I gave up halfway through.

    • Dylan Propst

      I agree. The Babadook was ridiculously overrated as well.

  • Sharan

    Would agree it’s great, but also rushed by the end.

  • Manuel

    I’m so so so disappointed in this movie. It goes beyond my reasoning how can anyone say it’s one of the most frightening, suspenseful, blood curdling movies ever. It started off very promisingly. The first half an hour lived up to the expectations, I really liked the cast, cinematography and eerie atmosphere. But once we get to know what the “it” is and after the first “followers” try to get to Jay the movie deflates drastically, it becomes dull, boring, not scary at all even for me, I tend to get scared very easily. However, I was hoping that the climax at the pool was going to be a nice redemption. Unfortunately, I found it ridiculous, boring and 100% unsuspenseful. I would give the movie a 6 just because the first 30 minutes are really great and the characters are likeable and relatable, which is a miracle for a horror movie.

    The end is so lame and I couldn’t care less whether “it” is still around or not

    (By the way, I loved the babadook)

    • melizer

      Yes. Up with Babadook. This movie has a fantastic look but its being oversold hard here.

  • Finally got to see this film. Loved it. The nods to Carpenter’s 80s horror (The Fog and Halloween) are none to subtle (even the score is a tribute/rip off) but I dug this film. The genuine feeling of dread and visual style was perfect.

    It’s an old school style indie and deserves the praise it’s getting.

  • Hernando Vallejo

    I just finished this movie and I was actually searching for honest reviews about it. I can see some beautiful photography and some nods to old horror films, but other than this I can see crappy directing choices, amateurish (almost pointless) scene transitions and apparently at times unfitting soundtrack (maybe they’re all on purpose?).

    Even the characters are hardly likable, but the protagonist. The concept of the curse itself is kind of clever, but the stalking scenes (were this film should have shined more to me) are mostly an exercise of patience rather than some nerve-racking experience that the audience could relate and feel awkward to.

  • Kelly

    This movie was disturbing ….loved when my daughter watched it with me and said
    ” So wait….this movie is about a Ghost STD” …..and it is

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