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"It Follows" was okay, I guess.

I wasn't that impressed by It Follows, if I'm being honest.

I mean, it's okay.  Whenever It was actually Following, it was pretty good.  Those scenes were creepy.  And I dug some of the subtler moments of horror, too, like at the very beginning when Jeff keeps referring to "that lady in the yellow dress," but Jay doesn't see her, and he suddenly realizes It is there.  When that stuff is happening - y'know, when it's being a horror movie - it's really good.

But all the other stuff just dragged, man.

Ordinarily I'd just say this isn't my kind of movie, but this is now the third horror movie in a row that I watched specifically because the Internet told me it was awesome and I ended up thinking it was just a boring turd half the time.  Funny Games, House of the Devil, and now this.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know.  They're all "great" movies.  You guys call them "atmospheric" and you keep telling me how they let the suspense and terror build... but I call them "fucking tedious."

The metaphor I always hear is "marinate."  As in, these movies will put something horrific out there to spook you, and then back away and let it resonate for awhile.  The same way you might take a nice chunk of meat and let it soak in a blend of vinegar and spices.  But here's the key problem with that metaphor: when you let meat marinate, eventually you'll actually cook it, too.    There's a difference between letting something sink in and just forgetting that you were making a horror movie.

You know how long it takes for the movie to begin?  Fifteen fucking minutes.  There's a whole sequence where the movie "introduces" the other characters, but they aren't even doing anything.  They're sitting around watching TV.  I don't remember their names and I certainly don't remember their character traits.

In fact, here's a telling moment about that opening: the best character development in the first fifteen minutes is when a character farts and cracks wise about it, thus establishing her as "Funny Girl."  I'd like to say I'm joking, but that's the honest truth - the movie's only injection of character is a goddamn fart.

If you're going to take as much time to let the dread build as you do, couldn't you at least make your characters do something?  I'm not asking for a lot of dense conversations or witty exchanges - just show them involved in action in literally any way at all.  Have them play chess.  Have them build a house.  Show them repairing a go-cart while one of them polishes a cup to add their ever-growing collection of racing trophies - anything to let me know there's some personality and depth and that I might actually give a shit when the inevitable terror finally arrives.

I'm kinda sick of this, Internet.  Every goddamn time somebody makes a slow-moving film where the moments of horror are separated by 5-10 minute stretches of tedium, there's a hundred million fat snobs out there who get on their high horse to tell me how this is what true horror actually is and oh, isn't it refreshing that somebody did this in contrast to the CGI-laden features of today... and then I wonder if all these hundred million assholes are robots.

I didn't hate It Follows.  I really didn't.  I'd probably give it a 3 / 5.  I'm just tired of movies trying to pass off "we didn't have any ideas of what to do, so here's more filler" as "atmosphere."  Hell, Pay the Ghost was stupid, but at least shit was happening.

I think the lesson is that I should stop looking to the Internet for advice.  Some day I might actually learn it.

All the Other Nonsense That Got Pushed Off the Main Page (Post Archive)