Monday, June 8, 2015

hatful of follow.

It's been hailed - by critics and fans alike as the blurb goes - as one of the scariest films of recent memory.

Luckily I have the memory of a goldfish so I might not be as harsh as I normally am.

Saying that tho' the last film I remember being raved about in such a manner was The Babadook.


It Follows (2014).
Dir: David Robert Mitchell.
Cast: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi, Lili Sepe, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Bailey Spry, Debbie Williams, Ruby Harris, Leisa Pulido, Ele Bardha Ingrid Mortimer, Alexyss Spradlin, Mike Lanier and Don Hails.

Yara: I have an idea!
Paul: What?
Yara: (Raises her leg and farts loudly) It got away.

It's a normal night in downtown Haddonfield, a cool John Carpenter/Alan Howarth score plays in the background as the camera smoothly glides down the street before coming to rest on an innocuous house.

Suddenly the calm is shattered when a scantily clad (and totally inappropriately high heeled shoed) young girl runs from house and stands, terrified and trembling in the street.

Anyone expecting a boiler suited bloke in a Captain Kirk mask striding purposely toward her, the kitchen knife he holds aloft glistening in the moonlight will be a wee bit disappointed as nothing or no-one resembling this - or that - ever occurs, she actually just runs back into her house, grabs her car keys and drives off in a panic.

Tho' we do get to see her fairly ample arse jiggle rhythmically in her shorts as  she goes so it's not all bad.

Fleeing to the local beach she calls her dad to say she loves him before walking into the water to get eaten by a shark.

Aha....It's not a Halloween homage it's a Jaws one.

Only it's not and the screen fades to black as she sits sobbing.

Cut to the next morning where our peachy posteriored pals body is lying bent and broken on the blood splattered sand.

She's obviously been brutally murdered by a madman.

Or it's a game of extreme Twister gone wrong.

Hannibal anyone?

"You aint seen me right?"

Spooky set up in place it's onto the plot good and proper where mousy college student Jay (Ex-freestyle kiteboarder and Brittany Murphy-alike Monroe) is preparing for a cinema date with her boyfriend Hugh (Zombeavers Weary, a man with the look of a down at heel Joshua Jackson from Dawson's Creek).

Seriously this movie is so chock full of lookalikes that you spend most of it trying to remember where you've seen everyone before. 

Or not in most cases.

"...Me neither!"

 As is always the way with movies of this ilk the date doesn't go well thanks to Hugh getting freaked out by a non-existent girl in a yellow dress staring at him from the concessions stand.

As far as excuses go for not wanting to sit thru' a movie picked by your girlfriend I must admit that this is a good one plus it has the advantage of Jay thinking that he's a wee bit kooky so when their next night out beckons she well up for having 'the sex' with him.

Unfortunately after the deed is done Hugh makes the simple mistake that we've all been guilty of and renders Jay unconscious with a rag full of chloroform.

This I can see with the experience that comes with age is a little extreme, I mean her conversation isn't that bad.

Left a bit, right a bit now scratch!

Waking up tied to a wheelchair in just her undies (which luckily match, I mean imagine the embarrassment had she woken up in a big grey pair of grannie pants), Jay sits fairly calmly given the circumstances as Hugh explains that he's planned the whole thing in order to pass a scary sex based entity on to her.

And no, it's not a metaphor for the AIDS or an STD because he actually does mean it in a supernatural sense.

Tho' the only thing unexplained so far is how Jay manages to pull all the good looking blokes when her best pal Yara (played to cute toothed, farting  perfection by the sexily spectacled Olivia Luccardi) is much hotter.

"He did WHAT in his cup?"

Anyway back to the matter at hand where Hugh is busy giving poor Jay the ins and outs of her situation.

It transpires that Hugh caught this ectomorphic entity from a one night stand and if not passed on - by more sex - it will slowly walk after you - sometime disguised as a love one in order to gain your trust but usually as a really freakish looking extra in a gory prosthetic - before eventually catching and killing you.

A wee bit like old age.

Or your gran.

Confusingly if you don't pass it on it kills the first person who caught it, then it kills you.

Which frankly makes sod all sense.

I mean, if it's going to kill you anyway why bother?

Or if it goes after your next sexual partner why not just shag a dog?

Or a corpse?

Or just have a massive wank.

Surely then you'd only lose a hand?

I would go on but my attention was caught by the sight of a scary naked woman slowly creeping towards the pair as Hugh wheels Jay back to his car before dropping her back home.

Which if nothing else is kinda thoughtful of him.

Laugh Now!

Chalking the whole thing up to experience, Jay goes into school the next day with her head held high (and her knees covered in rug burns) in the hope that her English tutor wont be reading from a text about death and mortality and that she'll be able to daydream thru' the days lessons without spotting any sheet clad spooks walking towards her with a look of menace on their faces.

It's not too surprising to say that this doesn’t happen and during the aforementioned text reading Jay notices thru' the classroom window an old lady in a piss stained bedspread stumbling in her general direction.

Which begs the question, does Jay know many stinky tramp-grannies or is this the girl that Hugh had sex with?

Or has Jay had sex with her?

This sex ghost really hasn't thought it's plan thru' has it?

Realizing that Hugh must have been telling the truth (and let's be honest as excuses for breaking up with a girl go it is pretty elaborate) Jay rushes to the diner where her younger sister Kelly (the cheeky chinned Sepe) and the permanently friend-zoned and rigidly angst faced Paul (Keir Gilchrist or a young David Schwimmer, take your pick) work.

Because let's be honest, if you're being chased by a scary shag monster, free ice cream is a priority.

Anyway, after listening to Jay snottily explain the situation whilst filling her mouth full of cold creamy goodness (as opposed to filling it get the gist) Kelly, Paul and the aforementioned (well lusted after) Yara decide to support Jay by spending the night at her house.

Which if you think about it isn't really that much of an act of friendship from Kelly seeing as she already lives there.

Savile: The Return.

At this point a shocking thought came into my mind (unlike normally when I just fire them over the person in front of me), the family live in what is obviously a copy of the town from Halloween, plus the sisters are named Jamie and Kelly - as in Jamie and Kelly Lee Curtis and their surname is Height, as in the Weng Weng film For Your Height Only......Perhaps the whole thing is some bizarro meta-experiment where a family have been subliminally programmed by an unknown force to react in strange ways to badly constructed horror concepts?

This concept falls apart on closer inspection because that would need a lank haired bad boy - of the type usually played by Daniel Zovatto of Beneath fame - to turn up at the halfway point for it to be true.

Oh well.

With both Kelly and Yara snoozing, Jay heads downstairs to keep the permanently petted lipped Paul company as he sits enjoying are rare showing of the 1965 classic Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet* on TV.

His enjoyment is, however ruined by not only a girl sitting watching with him (Jay is no doubt about to ask which are the goodies and the baddies and make comments about the clothes) but when a bloody big rock comes crashing thru' the kitchen window.

As Paul goes to investigate Jay sees a half-naked, dripping wet and bloodied toothless woman walking toward her in a slightly menacing (but strangely erotic) manner.

So erotic in fact that I paused the movie to check out who was playing this character.

And to see if I could get any screen grabs of her.

Look, I'm from the West Midlands...I'm not proud.

Alexyss Spradlin, thank you for this fleeting moment of pure unbridled pleasure during this movie.

Jay runs upstairs to find her friends with the evil entity in slow pursuit as the creepy creature morphs into a really tall bloke with gouged-out eyes, begging the question has it really got the hang of this 'people you know to get close to you' business.

If so then Jay has some serious explaining to do.

Fleeing the house our jittery pal rides her bike to a nearby playground, where she enjoys a quick go on the swings before her friends - or any scary monster people turn up.

When her pals do turn up they're this time accompanied by the lank haired bad boy neighbour Greg (played by Daniel Zovatto...what are the chances?) who offers to drive them to Hugh's address, an abandoned house he'd rented for the sole purpose of shagging Jay, where amongst the stiff tissues and porn, they find a photo of him outside his high school.

How's your luck?

"Can you believe the entire plot, motivation and character development of everyone in this movie fits on the back of this postcard?"

Turns out that Hugh's real name is really Jeff and he lives with his mum so the gang go pay him a visit.

Jeff informs them (and us - again - just in case we've forgotten) how he got the curse and reminds Jay that she has to have sex with someone to get rid of it.

Or not as it's still chasing Hugh/Jeff.

Maybe if the pair of them just keep having sex together it'll get bored or confused and leave them alone?

It'd be worth a shot.

Deciding they need a break, Greg drives everyone to his folks lakehouse where he teaches Jay to fire a gun as the others laze about on the waterfront in their pants.

But the entity isn't far behind, eventually catching up with Jay and attacking her.

Luckily her new found shooting skills come in handy and she incapacitates it long enough for her to steal Greg's car and crash into a cornfield.

She wakes up in the hospital with a broken arm and a grass stained arse, surrounded by Paul, Yara, Kelly, and Greg.

I say surrounded by but they're actually all sitting in a row opposite her.

Surrounded by is just a phrase and not to be taken literally.

Unlike this film.

"Scarper it's the parkie!"

It's whilst Jay is recovering from her injuries that Greg, insisting that he doesn't believe in the curse bravely offers to stick it in her if it'll help her feel better.

Much to Paul's chagrin seeing has he'd offered earlier and been knocked back quicker than an iced water by a very thirsty man.

All seems fine until a few evenings later Jay, whilst idly sitting in her bedroom window, sees Greg smash the window to his own house and climb in.

Hmmm....seems familiar.

And in a scene that would do Heather Langenkamp and Johnny Depp proud desperately tries to ring the real Greg to warm him but to no avail.

Running to the house and climbing in the window she arrives just in time to see poor Greg murdered by the thing disguised as his half naked mother.

Which is an interesting way to go.

Jay follows flees by car to the beach again where she considers shagging three men in a boat rather than heading back and taking Paul up on his offer.

She's not worth it mate.

"Aya mah BCG!"

Beginning to feel desperate and nearing the films climax Paul comes up with a frankly bonkers plan to kill the creature which involves dropping electrical items into an abandoned swimming pool whilst Jay treads water in an attempt to lure it in.

And why you may ask?

Because Paul has decided it's scared of water.

Either that or he's a huge fan of Cat People.

Will the plan work?

Will Paul get to have sex with Jay?

Will anyone care?

From David Mitchell, the besuited half of the Mitchell and Webb comedic duo comes this well shot, competently directed, engagingly acted and nicely scored little thriller that plays on those universal fears of sex and death.

Well I say plays on them but it's more like it just flicks them gently occasionally before settling down to the more important issue of being exactly like your favourite parts of every good horror movie made in the 80's.

Playing out like A Nightmare on Elm Street re-enacted by the cast of River's Edge - minus Crispin Glover unfortunately - It Follows seems more happy to spent it's time crafting a small group of well rounded characters whilst examining their feelings and thoughts rather than exploring the film's threat.

Which, under even the tiniest inspection becomes even more ill conceived and ludicrous the further the film progresses.


 As mentioned earlier, the rules of the entity make no sense....why pass it on if it still follows you?

What if you get pregnant?

Does that mean it kills the baby too?

Why appear as nightmarish visions if you want to get close to folk?

And more importantly, if it's invisible and can't be touched how come you can drape a towel on it and shoot it?

I wont even mention the random water revelation, which just seems to come from the fact that Jay likes swimming and that she shared a kiss with Paul in the pool from the movie's climax once.

Tho' I just did.

Interesting to look at and great to listen to, It Follows is ultimately hollow and disappointing leaving the viewer more frustrated than entertained.

Which scarily enough how having sex with me has often been described.

Cheers dad.

*Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet has a really interesting history.

Producer George Edwards, alongside the legendary Roger Corman purchased the rights to the Soviet science fiction movie Planeta Bur (Planet of the Storms) directed by Pavel Klushantsev and hired Curtis Harrington to film extra scenes featuring Basil Rathbone, Faith Domergue and (the non-warty) Marc Shannon for the English speaking market, much like he did with the Dennis Hopper starrer Queen of Blood.


Told you it was interesting.

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