After the tedious stupidity of John Wick, here’s another piece of trash that’s inexplicably impressed critics; new(ish) horror film It Follows – not to be mixed up with In Fear, as I did, much to the confusion of the poor woman at the Odeon Panton Street.
I desperately wanted this film to scare me, but it was just a waste of time; I wish I had been watching In Fear. Poorly written and directed by David Robert Mitchell (not that David Mitchell. Or the other David Mitchell), It Follows follows a teenage girl (Maika Monroe) stalked by a shapeshifting presence that, well, follows. On foot. So it’s only really a threat if you don’t own a bicycle.
The film moves at the same walking pace, and it’s a real drag. Halloween is the movie’s touchstone, but John Carpenter’s classic is often described as a rollercoaster ride. This is more like the London Eye; slow, and (at the Odeon Panton Street) overpriced.
In The Thing, Carpenter uses the shapeshifting monster for maximum suspense; it could be anyone around you. It Follows has none of that. It doesn’t even have an ending. All it has is ceaseless music, a swimming pool scene that’s more Let Me In than Let the Right One In, and some of the most boring teens outside of Hogwarts.
I really object to this lazy style of horror filmmaking, whereby half-baked ideas (idea, in this case – still one more than most) are vaguely strung together without having to come up with an ending. Where’s the plot? Where are the characters? Where did all the fun go from films? It follows, but it mostly bores.
For all its riffs on urban legends, John Carpenter and STDs, this is all stalk and no slash. It’s slow, dull and nothing happens, which would be fine if it was scary. But it isn’t. When I left down Panton Street, the only creeping presence I felt behind me was some drunk people.