Overall Grade: (B)
If a film could live simply on a premise, this one would have been excellent, but to this day a great film still needs a cohesive story-line.
I get it, the genre of horror is hurting to find a new excellent film to mark a resurgence from the gore filled campy slasher flicks flooding the markets. Yes in theory “It Follows” delivers a great premise with a fresh, original feel that boasts a mild amount of ambition and creativity.
But in my opinion this creativity seemed to stop there. Not sure if this script was rushed but the story-line that resulted had some large plot holes many so glaring that even a person like myself, who tends to not nitpick at every detail, still could not help but notice.
The pace is slow and while the plot sounds ridiculous (a paranormal presence that is passed from one person to another after having sex) but for the most part it works. The first-act is appealing and you really are clueless to what the film wants its message to be or its direction. Your attention is captured early with a haunting score and some subtle but great cinematography that mix excellently with the methodical pace to give the movie an eerie feeling overall.
The cast is filled with relative unknowns but their performance are still more then enough to carry the enjoyment along. None hinder the project and all are believable as young students coming in to their own. They all have their own personalities without over doing it to the point of being a hindrance to the scenes.
There are some great moments that will have you up in your seat, inspiring a great horror vibe without all the gore and massive amounts of killing. Their is no real antagonist as the paranormal entity routinely changes appearance throughout yet there are still a good handful of moments that will make you fear what will come next. For these aspects the film succeeded in entertaining, building suspense very subtly and giving you some good cinematic moments to make your mind wander deeper into the premise.
Despite this thought provoking delivery, at times this films biggest drawback was its story-line. More time could have been spent to give the script more structure and cohesion as well as closing some of the glaring plot holes that hinder the intended theme. It also seemed as the story was getting good the film ended and while the result is a decent film it felt more unfinished or hurried than anything. I won’t go into noting all these moments that seemed implausible for the script or were overlooked but as you sit and watch you will notice.
If you try not to overthink this one so much you will be entertained by what this fresh genre flick gives you but you will also see the missed potential. After the end credits role you will have been decently entertained but the lasting memory will be that, they were so close to creating a great horror film built on old movie making traditions and strong writing but in the end missed the mark by a narrow margin.