It Follows

It Follows ★★★★


Second viewing, no change. Was hoping to make a case for my favored interpretation, in which It = Heartbreak, and there really is a lot that seems to support that—the entire Jay/Paul relationship, most notably, but also a number of instances in which Mitchell foregrounds other characters (including extras) who are visibly canoodling. Trouble is, there's just as much supporting It = Death, e.g. Hugh choosing a little kid in the trading-places game because he (the little kid) still has his whole life ahead of him. And ending verbally on the Idiot quotation pretty much seals the deal...except that the superb final shot is perfect for heartbreak. Arrgh, so frustrating.

Also had the strange experience of finding Mitchell's formal chops at once less and more impressive than I'd initially thought. He kinda whiffs the beach scene in which It takes the form of Yara, showing the real Yara drifting into the frame on her innertube while the fake Yara is still too far away to be identifiable. (Admittedly, this could be a screen-size issue; maybe you can see that it's "Yara" at that distance in a theater but not on a 27" TV.) Also, while I don't really care about the various logical questions naysayers raise ("What if you moved to another continent? Would It walk after you across the bottom of the ocean?"), shots that defy implacable-killer logic for the sake of looking cool do slightly bug me, e.g. It standing on top of a house. On the flip side, however, I became conscious this time of just how many compositions involve (apparently) converging parallel lines, suggesting a path to be followed. And I was knocked out all over again by the 360° pan at the high school, which offers a glimpse of a likely It that the characters never even notice (briefly glimpsed again as they drive away). Almost as great as Paranormal Activity 3's oscillating fan-cam.