Wednesday, 15 October 2014

LFF REVIEW - IT FOLLOWS (DAVID ROBERT MITCHELL)


It's not what follows in David Robert Mitchell's second film as a director, and his second to centre upon a group of American teenagers, but what does not follow. It Follows is a film composed of a number of promising, provocative concepts, followed up by largely banal and unadventurous filmmaking. Criticising a film for something that it is not is a practice I don't approve of when forming my evaluations of films, but it is only that It Follows bears the blatant potential to be a superior film than it actually is, in that it often indeed is that superior film. Mitchell possesses a grand sense of style, gleaned perhaps from the various works of artistic inspiration he consciously invokes, and he puts it to sporadically good use; there are several imaginatively mounted set-pieces, usually involving a considerable arsenal of frights, all derived from the one, unexpectedly chilling motif. Yet Mitchell allows too much of It Follows to become referential in a more latent, less intriguing way, instead invoking the less memorable exposition sequences in the horror films that have collectively brought about this nostalgic pastiche. Although, Mitchell is markedly stronger at delineating his personal style as a director, as the '80s references are already tired at the film's advent. Despite a gradual diminishing in interest deserved and delivered (save an effective climactic scene), the genesis of It Follows' mediocrity is, at least, founded in a concept that serves as a fresh spin on horror staples, but also serves as serious food for serious thought. American attitudes toward sexuality, particularly regarding teens, are explored tentatively, and with little genuine sense of assurance, nor unique insight, but in this aspect It Follows demonstrates a desire to display intelligence and thoughtfulness, and a willingness to push the boundaries of mainstream indie horror, if only a minimal amount.