Friday, July 15, 2016

It Follows (2014)
100 Minutes
Director: David Mitchell
Writer: David Mitchell

David Lynch, David Cronenberg and David Robert Mitchell. Well, not quite. While It Follows at times envelops you in the wet and rotting Detroit environs, and while there are a few uncomfortable scenes that may make you squirm, it is at heart a teen slasher.  The original element  being the sex act, instead of luring the monster as in all those 80s franchises,  is now a chore that must be accomplished to divert it. The origin of the monster-zombie apparition thing is never really explained other than to say some young guy got it from a one night stand with a gal who made a hasty departure. Once cursed (fucked) you must spend your life pursued by this implacable apparition, that is, until you have sex and pass the curse on to the next victim. Although, having done so like herpes, the curse hangs around and may flare up during times of stress. The apparition can only be seen by the fucked one and the fucked one’s predecessors; you know, the kids who brought herpes to your high school in the first place. The apparition can only walk; no skipping and no heel-to-toe shit. It can take any human form – a mother and father make an appearance - and appear at any time like when you are staring off into space, trying to sleep or just trying to get away from that thing that keeps appearing and walking at you. Like a dream you say? More like an angry friend who thinks you were the one who ran over their cat. And get away the teens do by foot, by bike and by car. So what is all this shit? Is it a metaphor for Detroit’s fall from great city to ghost town? Maybe.  Is it a reflection of the general economic decline of the middle class which is, after all, being fucked as the super rich laugh?  Could be. Is it the Devil? Had the teens arranged a hasty Baptist wedding before fucking would the apparition have grown wings and flown away? Don’t know. The hero/final girl wanna be Jay (wonderfully played by 21 year old Maika Monroe) has several scenes of being immersed in water.

Wash My Sins Away

Does this represent her desire to return to a state of innocence? It is made clear early on that she is not a virgin. And after the initial deception of receiving the curse from the “young guy” in an abandoned parking lot she has sex with every guy in the movie out of scared shitless self-preservation.  There is no time for contemplating innocence; only for keeping your head above water. I’m thinking they should have had a dog. Dogs can sense things and have very sharp teeth. And with a dog alongside they would have resembled a pot-smoking version of that 1970s animated series concerned with ghosts, snacks and such. Aside from the narrative aspect, with all its fucking and running, the movie has some nice touches for us older folks. The production design consists of old homes, old American cars built in Detroit, and old schlocky sci/fi horror films viewed on old not so flat-screen TVs. Thank you Killers from Outer Space, Godzilla and The Vulture. Oh, and then the movie ends. Three wet and soggy Merkins. Check it out.

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