It Follows

It Follows ★½

There's a cool concept here; an unknown person/thing/curse that literally follows you, at a fairly slow pace, and will kill you if it gets hold of you. The only way to pass on the curse is to have sex. At first, I thought David Robert Mitchell had done his horror homework because the idea so calculatingly takes tropes from so many popular horror films of the last few decades (Halloween, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Ring, Final Destination) and does put a fresh spin on them. However, it never gets any further than the "beer mat" pitch. It's a great idea but is, sadly, never applied to a story that works or characters that exist. I stuck with it for a bit because it was nicely photographed (if a bit Instagrammy) and I loved the premise but, by the final reel, I was begging for it to finish. The climactic scene in the swimming pool (don't think that counts as a spoiler) is utterly ludicrous - makes no sense at all - and then leads to an ending that's not so much ambiguous as it is non-existent. It's such a shame. There was so much room for a) a great scary movie and b) intelligent subtext here but it's neither, its potential worth abandoned in favour of pretentious allusion (I mean, really... Dostoyevsky!) and self-indulgence. The fact that every place and object in the film looks like it's from the 80s apart from one e-reader device that just stands out like a sore thumb kind of sums up everything I feel about this, in a weird way. It's a confused picture and there's always something jarring in the way, whenever you think it's got the right idea. It wants to do so much and achieves, as a result, so little.

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