Film Review- It Follows

It-Follows-Movie-Poster

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the bedroom, It Follows comes to make you relive the most horrifying moments of your adolescent youth. The ultimate game of tag, except in this game you get an STD and the “D” stands for demon.

After an alarming opening, the film kicks into motion with Jay, an average teenage girl (played by Maika Monroe),  who is on a typical date with her typically douchey boyfriend, Hugh (Jake Weary). All seems normal, they go see a movie, go to dinner at an inexpensive joint. Then the two have consensual ex in Hugh’s car, real classy, this is when he chloroforms Jay and dumps the ultimate burden on her. Upon waking, Hugh explains to Jay that he has just passed on a demonic entity that will continue to follow her until she passes it on to someone else via sexual intercourse and so the games begin. Man what a guy, you don’t get that experience from Tinder.cannesitfollows

As the film progresses Jay and her friends try an innumerable amount of tactics to get rid of this entity. What makes this film work so well is the relatability of the characters and settings. There is extreme potential for all the usual tired out tropes to emerge, but somehow It Follows manages to dance around them. Everything predictable that could happen doesn’t. Jay is not the “over sexed bimbo” that the horror genre has come to love, she is an intelligent hero. She is willing to take chances to rid herself of this entity, but she likes to carefully strategize before doing so. She doesn’t make the oblivious mistakes like running upstairs to the only unsafe bedroom, she doesn’t fight the monster alone, infact she gathers her friends to help her in her endeavor.

It Follows is a rather unconventional conventional horror film that gives many nods to horror supremes like Alfred Hitchcock (Psycho) and John Carpenter (Halloween).  It doesn’t rely on cheap gimmicks or overused jump scares to bring on the goosebumps, it simply relies on its realistic atmosphere and paranoia. Just like Jay, the audience will not know when, where or what form this entity will emerge as, until it is too late. Often scenes are shown with Jay and her friends walking down a street with a few civilians walking in the background. Could any of these bystanders be the entity? Who knows.

What the film does best is presenting its actors in a manner that feels too close for comfort. The director of this film makes the decision to have actual young  20 or something people play teenage characters. Horror movies haven’t really done this since the 80’s. For the most part, modern films like Michael Bay’s hideous Nightmare on Elm Street remake, have had  thirty years olds playing fifteen year olds, the effect is inauthentic. But It Follows manages to show a believable group of middle class teenagers.

The most interesting character out of the Scooby gang would have to be Jay’s socially awkward friend Paul (played by Keir Gilchrist). At first Paul is the butt of everyone’s jokes. All his friends make fun of how pathetically awkward he is, but all Paul wants is love (and mostly sex). The only way he can get it is if a girl has a demonic entity attacking her soul or by paying a prostitute. He is not model handsome, he represents the average teenager.

Sure It Follows isn’t the first movie to make a statement about sex, but it is one the first films to accurately address this subject. This movie is far from having the kinkiness of Fifty Shades of Grey, that’s what makes it so scary. If not for its use of suspense, this movie would fall into the trash pile of modern horror failures. It Follows offers a fresh spin on horror and lots of fun.


THE VERDICT: **** (Four stars)  Catch It Follows in theaters before it catches you.

The Conjuring Spin-off As Wooden As It’s Doll

 

Annabelle-movie-poster (1)

WARNING, POSITIVELY DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE.

Annabelle the Doll’s new movie, Annabelle, is as transparent as the glass case in which she currently resides. Annabelle was first introduced in The Conjuring as a possessed doll who terrorizes two nurses, an actual case investigated  by the famous demon hunting couple Ed and Lorraine Warren. With the success of The Conjuring, a spin-off/sequel was inevitable. Annabelle is an origin story depicting all the events leading up to her big appearance in The Conjuring.

The film begins with the same two nurses from The Conjuring describing their experience with Annabell to Ed and Lorraine Warren, the only scene the demon hunters are featured in. The film then jumps back to the life of a married couple in 1970’s suburbia. Mia (Annabelle Wallis) and her husband John (Ward Horton) are expecting a baby, they live a devout Christian life in a quaint Levittown like neighborhood, all is perfect until Annabelle arrives. To celebrate Mia’s pregnancy, John gives her yet another creepy wooden doll, Annabelle, to add to her unhealthy collection of dolls. Later that night, two Manson Family wannabes go on a killing spree around Mia’s neighborhood which ends with both killers being shot to death in Mia’s bedroom and Annabelle getting possessed by Satan. There is pretty much no reason to continue watching this film after this point. The rest of the film is just loaded with unintentionally funny dialogue, tiresome jump scares and cliches, without a good plot to justify them.  Annabelle Wallis is decent enough in her role as Mia, the supporting cast is adequate as well but somehow their characters always seem to fall flat, lacking conviction.

Both Annabelle and The Conjuring borrow heavily from other horror movies, the only difference is that The Conjuring actually used its material effectively. Annabelle borrows from movies such as Scream, Paranormal Activity, Rosemary’s Baby, Child’s Play and even Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers. Annabelle throws its plot devices around all helter skelter without giving them any purpose.

What made The Conjuring so enjoyable was its use of a technique called “the anti-jump scare”. The Conjuring was loaded with scenes that seemed like they were building up to a jump scare, but didn’t. An example of this technique is in a scene with Mr. Perron, the patriarch of the Perron Family, investigating a noise he hears late at night. He wakes up in his office after hearing a door slam, he slowly makes his way to the kitchen, only to realize that it was only the wind blowing the door open, nothing harmful. These scenes help to conceal the actual jump scares in the film, making them less predictable. Annabelle uses no such technique and instead favors more traditional jump scares. Mia goes down into a basement to put away a decoration, a baby carriage appears out of nowhere, a scary demon jumps out at her, this is pretty much how all scare scenes are carried out.

With so much material to work with Annabelle butchers every opportunity it has to be a creative film. The 1970’s setting already provides a lot of historical content to work with but Annabelle fails to take advantage of the nostalgia, it only skims the surface of its potential. This is the era of The Brady Bunch, 8-tracks, Bell Bottoms, ABBA and Richard Nixon, how could the directors ignore these horrors? Maybe because James Wan wasn’t directing the film. Once again Annabelle chucks in a few 1970’s nods but not with purpose. A few 70’s outfits here, a few songs there, throw in a reference to Charles Manson and boom, there is still nothing to distinguish this film from any other. Annabelle lacks the believability and imagination  required to tell a good ghost story.

Although this film is not based on a true story like The Conjuring was, the writers of the Annabelle should have still consulted with Lorraine Warren, like James Wan did, to get more information about demons and the occult. The fun of The Conjuring was knowing that it was based on something real. There is very little connection to The Conjuring in this film, Annabelle forgets its roots. The demons shown in Annabelle look exactly like Lipstick-Face from Insidious, it may as

However bad the movie may be Annabelle proves superior to The Conjuring in only one category: Cinematography. James Kniest skillfully establishes the perfect scene composition in all his shots. He uses the space effectively, placing certain portions of background out of focus, this helps to displace the viewers attention away from where the actual jump scares are going to occur. The only enjoyable aspect of the film is a really nice touch added by Kniest, the inclusion of a Raggedy Ann doll in the final scene of the film, a wise nod to the real life Annabelle doll who is a Raggedy Ann doll.

Even good camera shots are not enough to save Annabelle from the bowels of Hell. Annabelle is a victim of plot holes, cliches, unintentional humor, flat acting and horrible animation. Annabelle should stay on the shelf where she belongs.


The Final Verdict: If you have to watch Annabelle, wait until you find her in the $3.99 discount bin at Walmart.

EVIL CANDARIAN DEMONS CONQUER LYNN, MA


ATTENTION HORROR FANS!!!!!!!!

Performances of Evil Dead: the musical will be put on by Arts After Hours in Lynn, MA from October 3rd to the 31st (Halloween). 

 

Based on the 1981 horror classic. Evil Dead: The musical follows five collage students who decide to take a vacation in an old abandoned cabin in the woods. They find a book called the “Necronomicon Ex-Mortis” and unknowingly unleash evil candarian demons from the book. One by one they are possessed, except for one sole S-mart employee, Ash Williams. Ash will have to duke it out with deadite scum in order to save himself and humanity.

     Last October Evil Dead: The musical was put on by Arts After Hours and it is back by popular demand. 

Last years production was very well cast, bloody, hilarious and fun,  it’s a must see for both fans of Evil Dead fans , horror movie fans and musical fans. 

 

 

 

 

 

Groovy!

(Photo taken by Arts After Hours)

 

 

Pretty uncanny eh?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DON’T FORGET TO BUY YOUR SPLATTER ZONE TICKETS (PONCHO INCLUDED) 


http://www.artsafterhours.com/