The Horror Honeys: It Walks Up to You Very Slowly...

It Walks Up to You Very Slowly...

A New Release Review from Supernatural Honey Suzanne

It Follows (2015)

For months now, the Honeys and pretty much every horror fan out there have been anticipating the release of It Follows. Those of us in the States were cursing our friends across the pond for getting to see it before us. That rarely happens. The hype on this film was reaching Babadook proportions and the anticipation was killing me. I was able to see it the night before its US release and I have to say, for me, it didn’t live up to the hype. 

The lovely Maika Monroe (The Guest) stars as Jay Height. Jay lives with her mom and sister in a not so affluent part of Detroit. After a few dates with a mysterious boy named Hugh (Jake Weary), she gives in and they have sex. Immediately afterward, he chloroforms her and ties her to a wheelchair. When she wakes he explains that he has passed something on to her. Something that will try to kill her and if she wants to get rid of it, she must pass it on to someone else. 

Jay spends the remainder of the film trying to battle a killer only she can see, with the help of her sister, her sister’s friends, and a bad boy neighbor.

Listen, I love me some ambiguity in a film. You can project your own thoughts and fears into what you’re watching. That can make for a very unique viewing experience. It’s part of the reason I loved Honeymoon so much. Unfortunately, It Follows is SO vague, I got wrapped up in that and couldn’t enjoy it the way I had hoped to.

We have an unknown force that is spread via sexual contact, but even once you pass it on, it never really leaves you. No one knows how it originated, who got it first or how to stop it. It’s like supernatural herpes. Only I doubt there is a test for it at the free clinic.

Come on! The box said I could even go swimming!
When Hugh tells Jay about the curse he has bestowed upon her, he says that it will take the shape of people you know and don’t know. Other than her big showdown at the climax, Jay’s pursuers seem random. Wouldn’t it have been a bit more frightening to have them take the shape of people she has regular contact with so she’s less apt to run? I mean, this thing moves SLOW. It just sort of strolls and is pretty easy to get away from. In fact, the damn things move so slowly, the characters (and you) spend a lot of time waiting for something to happen.

Still a better date than that guy I met on Tinder.
The supporting cast is adequate, but they’re really only there as background and aren’t particularly developed. Keir Gilchrist plays Paul, a friend of Jay’s sister, who is in love with Jay. His persistent efforts to win Jay over, even offering himself to be “infected” were super creepy, creepier than the curse itself.

But wait! Before you start cursing my name more than usual, it’s not all bad. To sell this film at all required a strong lead and Maika Monroe is wonderful. I loved her in The Guest, but she really wasn't able to carry this movie on her own.

The other thing that stood out to me was that you couldn’t really tell when this was taking place. In the opening scene, a girl in an affluent neighborhood is being chased by something we can’t see. She’s wearing expensive looking shoes, drives a nice car and has a cell phone. When we shift to Jay’s story, the clothing, vehicles, and home décor suggest the 80s, right down to the crocheted afghan on the couch, although it’s never defined. They also live in a lower middle class neighborhood. None of the kids had cell phones, iPads or computers. Was this suggesting Jay’s story actually took place first and the opening scene was in the future? Perhaps it was a metaphor about how this curse doesn’t discriminate, regardless of your status. Whatever the reason, it was very clever.

GODDAMNIT! How did the Sixth Sense kid get here???
This isn’t a film heavy on gore. We only see one character die in the film and it’s hardly gruesome, which I’m totally ok with. It’s unnecessary in this type of film. The girl from the opening scene, Annie (Bailey Spry), dies a horrible death, but we only see the aftermath where the body is in a position even a hardcore contortionist couldn’t get into. That was cool.

It Follows is unique and contains some extremely creative visuals. It also has a strong female lead, BUT… (There is always a big but) I just didn’t find it scary. *sigh*

Supernatural Honey Rating: 3 STSs (Sexually Transmitted Spirits) out of 5

It Follows is playing nationwide...