It Follows

Nice Mechanics.

Relentless, and demands to be seen in the theater.  
Reported on 15th of May, 2015

There’s a line I can’t seem to forget from How Do You Know?, yet another terribly titled pretty okay film. I’ve been meaning to write about Mr. James L. Brooks for a while. All his films – including Spanglish and the utterly insane and at-the-Dome I’ll Do Anything – are full of swell zingers, and totally his, and that’s saying something. Mr. Brooks œuvre continues in the better-than-both-of-those How Do You Know? and leads us to the line in question:

Ms. Reese Witherspoon, recently fired off her olympic baseball team, is watching MLB on the teevee with her recent and tentative beau Mr. Owen Wilson. As it happens, they are watching Mr. Wilson himself, as he replays his own game as a pro-league pitcher. Instead of the typical girl clichés of not knowing that baseball has too many quarterback offsides, or even the fallback, you’re so egotistical, Ms. Witherspoon relaxes into it and simply says, ‘Nice mechanics’. It’s a swell moment, and you should probably see the film. If you don’t, I’m going to write about it, and no one wants that.

It Follows

13 March 2015 @ The Cineworld Crawley

$17.00 or, if one must be quotidian, and one must... 
★ ★ ★ ★ ★


I spoke aloud a few times during It Follows and ‘nice mechanics’ was one of the things I said. We’ll get to why, and what else I said, but saying this means that I suspect that It Follows could be the best film of this year.

In regards to spoiling it, like so many critics do, I can understand the impulse. It’s a positive thing; you want to talk about it. But I’m not going to let the instinct leak out of me with the usual, ‘you won’t believe how he rewrites history in the end’ Inglorious Basterds review bullshit. I actually want to you to see the film, so I’m not going to say anything specific. I’m not a critic; I’m the UK John Wick trailer. Yes, that’s right, what we all aspire to.

See, I saw John Wick on iTunes a few weeks ago (it’s a revenge film about a dog – are you even asking why? – it is also great by the way). What should appear before It Follows but the trailer for John Wick, due out here in two months, that’s right, six months after it’s out in the US, and three months after its DVD release, which I could order – legally – from Amazon. It’s bad enough that the foreign distribution model doesn’t know it’s 2015; they don’t even know it’s 1990.

Or maybe it was Rachael Yamagata. It all blurs together.

Or maybe it was Rob Zombie. That’s right. He was a musician. Whose music I only discovered having watched The Matrix. It’s complicated. What a terrible phrase. Someone should not turn that into a film title.

But I had already seen John Wick, and watching the trailer while listening to The Smiths (appropriate), something about it…hell I took off my headphones. In fact, I would say John Wick, by virtue of seeing the trailer and filling it with content from the film, is as good as I remember it, and I’m going to see it again in the theater. In fact, I may make it the last film I see in the UK, thereby making it the first film since Ted I’ve seen twice. It’s got everything Scott wants, and it’s also good.

Watching this trailer I realized, it is okay to see trailers, as long as you see them after the movie. How this business model would work, I have no idea, though it’s got to be better than the current one of ruining the experience you’re asking me to pay money for. This is, I think, what this blog (It’s been seven years, I can almost say the word without gagging), is all about: to be the trailer after the film. Given the economic prospects, I am paid in kind.

As such, I am going to ruin It Follows, only in a few months. In fact, I just wrote some php code to create a countdown clock. You have…

[spoiler one=0 two=0 three=9 four=6 five=7 six=2015]

to see it, and then I’m going to ruin it. It works if you reload it. I didn’t say java; I said php!

As you can see I never returned to give shit away. Except to write this, and mysteriously not delete the countdown clock, which makes it seem like I’ve never been here. I’m just updating the metadata for the rework. So, I’m going to give you another

[spoiler one=0 two=0 three=9 four=6 five=7 six=2016]

to see it. The real secret, with I am loathe to give away, is simply never come back here. Ah, but that would be like de-regulating TV, and what would happen to the children? For one, they wouldn’t get to see It Follows.

It Follows is The Faint of 1970s horror. It isn't those films, but it is how you remember them.

Yes, It Follows is a horror film, and, yes, it’s an effective one. Probably the scariest since Insidious and way scarier than that. And this is one of the emotions we are supposed to be ashamed of, like pleasure or laughter, so it can’t be that important, serious or great. It is. It Follows, from either the filmmaker, the crew, the cast or all three, is a staggering work of pure cinema. There is nary a wrong shot, or anywrong moment. I felt myself wanting all kinds of idiotic scenes that would ruin the film, and each time, the film failed to be as stupid as I am.

This is the film that all films like it – You’re Next/The Babadook/Oculus/The House of the Devil/Anything by Mr. Rob Zombie – desperately wanted to be, and couldn’t pull off. Instead, It Follows is The Faint of 1970s horror. With the possible exception of The Thing (which may not be a horror film anyway), these films just aren’t as good as you remember. This film is how you remember those films.

Now I’m giving Mr. David Robert Mitchell the credit, and just by the script he deserves it, but I was not blown away by his Freshman effort, The Last American Sleepover. This may be a happy one-off, but I’m on record here: I’m as excited as after having seen We Need To Talk About Kevin. This is a new filmmaker to watch for.

And, many paragraphs later, here’s what I mean by the title which itself refers to another film, after I spent a lot of time talking about John Wick. In most horror films ((don’t) see Oculus), the monster is super dangerous and evil, and can kill our hero(ine)(s) at any time, instead stands around in the various places under the stairs waiting for the characters to find out how to kill him/her/it. The Babadook, though hardly unique, does this one better by simply changing what powers/threats the monsters have. It’s a nightmare! They’re trapped in a hell where they are powerless to act! Poor monsters!

Unlike these crap horror films, and crap films in general, It Follows Thought. It. Through. The opening, which I’m not going to tell you anything about it (Fine. One thing. It’s at the beginning) is weird, it’s scary. It’s got the quality of Lost that made it so fucking popular: you want, desperately, to know what’s going on. That moment when you’re on the precipice: does the film have what it takes to back that scene up, or we do have another smoke monster on our hands?

I said, several times, very loudly, and without a trace of self-awareness, ‘Ho shit!’. And this movie will fuck you up. But there was also that deeply satisfying moment, when it is revealed that, in fact, Mr. Mitchell does and did know what the story was. Nice mechanics.

My first note is nearly identical to one I took at the beginning of WNTTAK, with the obvious gender switch: ‘If he can pull this off…’. He, it, and they did.

In my position as a geographical anomaly, I have to wait two months to see a film I loved and already seen and will now see because I saw the trailer for it after having seen it. But, as with What We Do In The Shadows, it also occasionally means I get to see something, without knowing anything about it, before you. I’m so giddy, I’m going to be a critic and just recommend it. It’s relentless, and demands to be seen in the theater. It is a must for even the slightest horror fan, and a strong possible for people who can’t stomach an offscreen paper cut. Though how you watch reality TV is beyond me. Or people about to kiss. Ewww.

The ••••• with the •••
You ••••••• if ••••••• ••••••. And THEN •••• •••• •••••• ••••• •••• •• Detroit!
Total Profits
The music was a bit much a few times, but makes up for it by being great the rest of the time. Roll with it.
Total Losses


Thoughts on It Follows

  1. dina says:

    The line “I just wrote some php code to create a countdown clock.” made me laugh out loud.

  2. Scott Scott says:

    The php stuff is getting a lot of yuks. But it’s true! It’s true!!!!

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