Teenagers are such ripe pastures for horror movies. We all remember the uncertainty, the angst of being that old if we aren’t in the grips of it still. The anxiety and fear of sex trailing about us, whether we want it or are just dreading it and trying to avoid it. It’s why so many horror films are set here, and It Follows is no exception. It takes hold of this and adds the extra layer of a monster trailing after you, only you can see it, and you have all that extra added pressure laid on top of sex. The first scene sets the tone with a young woman fleeing an unseen terror, finally coming to an untimely and gristly end. The inexorableness of It that follows them around through the rest of the movie, slowly and steadily and unstoppable, promising to make their nightmares come true.
For me there’s also the added terror of trying to explain just what is wrong to your friends. It speaks of anxiety that you just can’t explain, know that it doesn’t make sense and yet it haunts you and terrifies you to your bones. And knowing how illogical it sounds and desperately hoping that your friends believe you anyway, trust what you are saying, try to help you. You see it coming for you and yet you can’t do anything about it, not really. Just try to keep ahead of it, not let it catch you while you are resting and think you are safe. Your friends watching you battle something they can’t see and can’t really understand, but trying to somehow help you anyway. I know it should be a metaphor for the slipping away of innocence, of young people passing into adulthood, and yet it speaks to my own adult anxiety and social phobia.
The atmosphere of this film is superb – the music sets a slightly discordant and nostalgic tone (reminding me of Stranger things). The eerie effect of the pool in the final showdown upon the ceiling cementing the unreality of what’s occurring. The slow tension filled building of the terror. And I enjoyed the unsettled and open nature of the ending – it’s no secret to my friends that I enjoy movies that aren’t happily ever after or insist upon spelling out exactly what occurred. Hopefully the dread doesn’t follow me to sleep tonight.
Tonight’s drink was Slice of Life by B. Nektar Meadery. Very strong lemon (not lemonade, there’s only subtle sweetness there to my sugar tolerance, if you can call it that), very little cider underneath. I would have liked a more subtle lemon flavor and a stronger ginger taste (to me, nearly nonexistent).
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